Like most Americans, I remember where I was on September 11, 2001. I worked at a Chicago law firm on the 58th floor of the Sears Tower. At that time, I was pregnant with twins. It was in the elevator going up to my office that a stranger told me a plane had hit the World Trade Center. We were both surprised but not alarmed, assuming it was a small plane that had gotten lost.
Later that morning, someone on the loud speaker announced that we should evacuate our office and go to the ground floor of the building where we gathered and talked, confused about what to do next. One attorney from my law firm decided to returned to his office. Shortly after his decision, we learned that the Pentagon had been hit, and as a group we headed for the train station and home to watch the tragedy unfold on TV.
When we returned to work, I saw Chicago firefighters standing on street corners asking for donations for the New York Fire Department, those first responders who gave their lives to save others the day the Twin Towers fell. In the aftermath of 9/11, New York City, usually viewed as a rival to the Second City, became our sister city and our hearts and wallets were wide open.
After that tragic day, the security in Chicago's famous high rise tightened and was modeled after airport security. At the entrance, we were asked to provide special identification, and all bags & purses were examined and sent through a metal detector. We had several emergency evacuation drills in the tower that year and employees were given emergency supplies, a mask & a flashlight to keep at our desk.
During emergency drills I had to practice leaving the building via the freight elevator because I could not, for health reasons, walk down 58 flights of stairs. Some employees had fun with these drills, timing themselves going down the stairs. Others pondered aloud the wisdom of working in tall buildings.
If you wish to share your story about 9/11 or read the stories of others, you can use the link to the site provided by the Smithsonian National Museum of American History: "Tell Your Story."
For more information on the September 11th terrorist attack, below is a selective list of guides, including information, books, memorials, tributes, photographs and videos.
Guides on the September 11th Terrorist Attacks
September 11th, Tenth Anniversary - By Instruction & Reference Librarian, Joe Hardenbrook, Cofrin Libraries, UW-Green Bay
September 11th 2001 Terrorist Attacks 10th Anniversary - By James P. Adams Library, Rhode Island College
September 11th Teacher Resources- By Ranney School Libraries
9-11-01; a Retrospective - By Berkley College Library
Documentary by HBO to be shown on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011
Submitted by Jenny Zook, Reference Librarian on September 8, 2011
This article appears in the categories: Law Library/IT