Contributor's location on 9/11:
Working for Federal Express
February 4, 2002
I am a currier for Federal Express. Each morning I get into my big white truck and drive around the same area delivering packages. On Sept. 11, 2001 I was driving into an undustral park. It was just like any other day. Since I pretty much go to the same places every day and I have become friends with the people that work at these places. I don't remember what the exact time was when I got to the second stop but it must have been close to 9:15. The man there looked stressed and not himself. He told me that two trains had collided with each other under the world trade building and it was going to fall over. Being a currier means that I have a time scheadual that I need to stay on so I didn't think too much about it. I thought it was some communter type accident. The next stop I went to the people were not out front and I had to call out for them. After a few minutes this women came out, signed the clip board and ran back down the hallway. Most people say hello and goodbye but she said nothing. I went to my next stop and the man there said that it wasn't trains that hit the tower but a plane. I asked him if he knew anything else and he said it was on fire, but under control. I should explain that this kind of thing happens all the time where people will tell me the news that happen. I hear about earth quakes, traffic accidents, snow storms, shootings, and things that are the top stories in the news. So I still didn't have a since of urgency. Everything was still as normal as it is everyday but people seem to be missing. I got to the last stop in this area and there was no one there. I waited for about five minutes and left. Now things got strange. I see the same traffic every day. From where I was at that time I needed to drive about five miles to a big office building. There seemed to be no traffic at all. It was like a holiday. I just thought it was luck to be able to get where I was going without all th traffic in the way. At this building I had about five stops. The first stop at his building I went to a office on the second floor. The lady opened the door and five people were standin in front of a TV. I couldn't see what they were watching but they all looked worried. No one spoke. The lady signed the clip board and I left. On the third floor the first office I went to had the doors open and about thirty people were standing there looking at a TV. I had to get past them to deliver a letter and when I got past them I saw, for the first time, the TV screen and the smoking building. I don't ever get a chance to just stand and talk. On this day I didn't move for about five minutes. Thirty people and me, standing there looking at he screen not saying a word. I think both planes had hit both towers. I don't believe anyone could understand what was going on. I did have to leave. I had to have all the packages delivered by 10:30 am. I had to get to another office building and finish. I have a computer, communication system in my truck so I sent a message to the dispatcher and asked for any details. It was a five minute trip to the next building so there was time for him to respond. His message was, "There are things happening and detail will follow." This message was not sent to me but to all the 86 curriers from the station I work at. When I got to the first stop at this office building The lady told me that a plane had crashed into Pentagon Mall. Many people were killed and the fire was out of control. I started to move faster so I could finish. When I got to the next office, which was a big company, things got really strange. As soon as I walked in there was an announcement that the office building was closing. Never heard that happening before. Everyone was leaving. This was an government office that dealt with contracts. I had four more stops. When I went out to the truck there was a message that I thought I would never see. I have worked in snow storms, ice storms, really scary thunderstorms with lighting all around me, but never did anyone at Fed Ex seem to think there was any danger. The message said, "From Memphis, All Curriers in Washington D.C. area are to stop what they are doing and return to the station. You are not to deliver any more packages, but return now." We don't get messages from Memphis, where the National headquarters are. I did deliver the last of my packages which took only a few minutes and started back to the station which was about ten minutes away. Traffic had changed. The streets were filling up and people were driving fast. If you drive everyday like I do then you can notice things like this. I got decided it would be a good idea to get back fast. When I got to the station, which is a big open warehouse you have to drive in, only one door was open. My manager was there but also many strange people I have never seen before. I never asked who they were but later found out they were Fed Ex security to examine all the packages that the curriers brought back. I had none so I got in and got out. I drove home towards Washington so I was drivin against the traffic. By now it was almost bumper to bumper going the other way. That was my day. One side not to all this. As a History major I had a desire to somehow be linked to the events that happen that day. The way I am linked is in a sad way. Everyday I drive to a biotech company. It is a large place that has extra security now. But since the events of September 11, I deliver human tissue and body parts to them that are from the towers for DNA testing. Everyone in the station knows when I do this cause the boxes are white with yellow tape that says evidence on and are marked, "Medical exmainers office, NY. NY. Its not much but it makes me feel that I am doing something to help.
Story #33, The September 11 Digital Archive
, 4 February 2002, <http://911digitalarchive.org/stories/details/33>.
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