I left the house unaware of him downstairs, and waited for my school bus.
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Taylor was dropped off at school and Mom got ready for her own daily routine, all the while we all thought he was long gone. Dad got on the next train instead of racing his to the next station, and was unknowingly on his way into a hellish nightmare. They hit the Twin Towers right? Thinking Dad was on his usual train I went numb.
Minutes after the bell my guidance counselor was at the door and the class fell silent. I knew what she was about to say. I rose gingerly out of my seat towards this young, blonde, pregnant woman I had met only once before.
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She opened her mouth to speak and I stared intently into her face as a warning not to say it. Eventually I collapsed and she along with all of her dreadful news caught up to me. She helped me up as I shook uncontrollably, unable to grasp an emotion to hold onto.
She walked me to the office where Mom and Grandma were waiting.
I had just been up there; I spent many of my Saturdays up there. His initial reaction was to run in and save his friends, but security shoved him out of the way and he took cover. He looked up and watched his world crumble. He could see his own chefs waving tablecloths out of the windows. As a family, we are adamant believers of trying to keep things as normal as possible, leading to the decision to keep me in school for the remainder of the day. It felt like that day would never end. People were coming up to me asking if he was dead or alive.
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Such a cold, callous question. He has to be dead. Dad eventually found friends from the catering world that he was able to borrow a phone from. He called Mom and began to piece together his journey home.
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I held him, my rock and my life and never wanted to let go. People would see him and think they were seeing a ghost, not believing that he was alive. There we were the four of us, changed forever, given a new bond. I know firsthand that there are thousands of others who were not as lucky us. I say my prayers and thank my stars for still having my hero at my side. In total he lost 83 employees that day, some of who were there early for a meeting he himself had called.
He lost that signature twinkle in his eye, and I lost the passion to share his work with him, ultimately changing my career dreams. Even though Dad was alive, I suffered a tremendous loss. At twelve I felt like nothing around me was safe. I grew reluctant to share anything with anyone, even turning against my own hero for a while. It was a difficult few years to follow.
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Family members talk about Norberto: Norberto Hernandez was from Puerto Rico. Banquet waiter Muhamed Saladeen Chowdhury was from Bangladesh. Windows employees came from more than 60 nations. The end of this terrible story would bring the beginning of another, better one: Michael Lomonaco couldn't get Farqad out of his mind, as he helped set up the Windows of Hope family relief fund. The fund pays Farqad Chowdhury's tuition at a private school in Oklahoma City.
Baraheen Ashrafi moved nearby to be close to her sister. In , she became a U. So I started feeling love for staying in here. In a top-secret Cold War search for two missing nuclear submarines in the Atlantic would lead to the discovery of the final resting place of the fated ocean liner on which more than 1, people died.
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A look back at the esteemed personalities who've left us this year, who touched us with their innovation, creativity and humanity. Share Tweet Reddit Flipboard Email. The difference between the view out these windows and Windows on the World is telling. More Sunday Morning Titanic: The untold story In a top-secret Cold War search for two missing nuclear submarines in the Atlantic would lead to the discovery of the final resting place of the fated ocean liner on which more than 1, people died Notable deaths in A look back at the esteemed personalities who've left us this year, who touched us with their innovation, creativity and humanity.
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