No Matter How Many Years Pass, 9/11 Still Affects Me To My Core


Even though 18 years have passed, 9/11 still rocks me to my core.

I can't tell you how many documentaries I've watched about the events that took place that day in which I will sit there and cry from the depths of my soul for all those people who lost their lives on that day. And not only at The World Trade Center, but also the Pentagon and those onboard Flight 93 that went down in Shanksville, PA. 

However, I think because I have such a strong and loving bond with New York City, I feel the most emotional whenever I'm there at the 9/11 Memorial.

As September 11 approaches, I always feel my heart reaching out to the family members and friends of those who died that day in an effort to take away their pain. I can't even begin to imagine how they felt, and still feel 18 years later. But I'm absolutely sure that their loss and pain returns as if it were yesterday.

I also believe that even for those of us who were not directed affected by 9/11, we were, because we're all interconnected. We share the loss. And we share the pain.    

Today, I would like to share a post that I published on this blog almost 10 years ago. Some of my longtime readers may have already read it. But this is the post I always go back and read each year at this time because it was the one and only time I had been to the top of The World Trade Center.

And sadly, my last.

The photographs you'll see in the post were taken on that day. I took the first one of the Twin Towers from a ferry boat. The second photo of my ex-boss and I on the observation deck was taken by one of her family members.

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Memories of The World Trade Center


Sunday night I decided to take down a box of loose old photographs that were on the top shelf of my closet and try to organize them in some way.

So, here I sat on my apartment floor with years and years worth of memories lying all around me; having flashbacks.

I found several photos that I had completely forgotten about when I first moved back to Philadelphia in 2001 and had met up with my ex-boss from Florida in Manhattan for the day. She was there visiting with some family members, but wanted to do some sightseeing with me because she knew I had once lived there and was familiar with the city.

What I’m about to share with you is unreal, yet very real. I should start by telling you that I am extremely sensitive to energy. I have always been able to sense energy on a deep level; therefore if something is happening or is about to happen, while many people may not necessarily feel it, I often do.

I moved to New York City in 1974, a year after The World Trade Center opened. But because I’m not too terribly fond of heights, I never visited the towers during the five years I lived there. So, needless to say, I was a little apprehensive when my ex-boss suddenly suggested that we all go to the top for a glorious view of Manhattan.

Amazingly enough, once I got up there I was not as frightened as I thought I would be. In fact, when we got outside on the observation deck we both started laughing because she was the one who began freaking out about the height, and yet, I on the other hand felt surprisingly okay.


Between seeing the various exhibitions and walking outside on the deck, we were there for about 40 minutes.

Now, here is the unreal, yet real part….

As we were waiting to get on an elevator to go back down, I suddenly felt myself begin to panic. I had no rational idea why I was feeling this way, but I could sense some sort of horrendous pandemonium going on around me, when in fact, everything around me at that moment was calm and peaceful.

It felt as if I was experiencing two different things simultaneously.

I could see that everything was obviously perfectly fine, but I could also feel (sense) something else happening at the same time.

When I closed my eyes, I could hear and see the shadows of people in chaos. It was like watching a movie on a huge planetarium screen that surrounded me.

I turned to my ex-boss and said, “Can I ask you something? Do you feel this building vibrating and shaking?”

She said, “No.”

I said, “Well, I do.”

Now, I realize that the Twin Towers were constructed to sway with the wind for flexibility, but this was not just a swaying I was feeling, it was a definite vibration and shaking.

I started to sweat profusely and felt like I was going to faint.

She looked at me and said, “Are you alright, Ron? You’re as white as a ghost.”

Because her two young nephew’s were standing close by, I didn't want to frighten them by making a big deal about how I was feeling, so I quietly said to her, “Just get me the hell out of here because I feel like I’m going to flip out.”

As soon as the elevator doors opened I ran in and started to quietly mumble, “Ok everyone…hurry, hurry, get in, hurry, let's go, move.” When the elevator eventually reached the lobby floor, I felt my entire body sigh with relief and couldn't get out of the elevator fast enough.

And I can remember this now as if it occurred yesterday. As we walked through the exit doors, something made me turn around and look straight up at the towers.

And when I did, I had the most unsettling feeling.

This experience happened to me in late July of 2001.

A month and a half later, the attacks happened.

It was not until almost a year later, did I even recall having this experience.

And wondered…...


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Remembering those lost...


...with love.



*Above photo: Robert Peraza, who lost his son Robert David Peraza, pauses at his son's name at the North Pool of the 9/11 Memorial at the site of the World Trade Center.

26 comments

  1. Valerie DaggattSeptember 10, 2019

    I wondered if you would write about the tragedy and I am glad you did since it is so easy to forget. My memory is sound since 11th was/is my son's birthday - a double reminder of that awful day. Thank you for this post, Ron, I look forward to it every year, not that I could ever forget but one never knows.

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  2. Ok, Ron, that was just freaky!!! I don't really understand what you mean by energy, but I believe you because I've had other people tell me things like that, where they had a sense that something bad was going to happen and then it did.

    I was in the towers once, in 1984. Like you, the height thing didn't bother me, but I was not on an observation deck. I don't know if you remember me telling you that my husband worked at the trade center that year as part of a cooperative education experience in college.

    Thanks for sharing your very personal experience. No, we will never forget. XO

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  3. Wow—what an amazing experience. I had goosebumps reading this. I can't believe you were up there so close to the attack. I had an opportunity to go to the top of the Towers myself, but this was in the late 1970s and I was pretty young. I do remember the vast, sweeping view, though. I guess that's something you never forget.

    9/11 is hard every year. It never really gets better with time.

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  4. Ron, this is so eerie!! Do you think you had a premonition about what was to happen? I know people who are especially tuned to their feelings get insights that others don't. Maybe a part of you sensed that something awful was going to happen, right where you were, so your rational brain couldn't get out of there fast enough.


    This is one of those sad turning points we all remember, isn't it? We know just where we were and what we were doing when we heard the news of the attack. And when the TV announcers reminded me this morning that it's been EIGHTEEN YEARS, I had a freak-out moment of my own -- how did that happen? It feels like just yesterday, in so many ways (and you, my friend, haven't changed a bit, you know!) xo

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  5. Ron, the hairs on the back on my neck stood up when I read this! I believe in things like premonitions, esp and energy. I TOTALLY do, so I'm not at all surprised at what you felt/sensed when you where there. I never went to the WTC, and I regret that because now I'll never experience it. Have you been to the new WTC (The Freedom Tower)?

    I know what you mean about feeling the way you do this time of year because I think everyone does. And it seems that everyone can also pinpoint exactly what they were doing that day when they watched in horror what happened.

    Thank you for sharing this, Ron.

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  6. "My memory is sound since 11th was/is my son's birthday - a double reminder of that awful day."

    Oh Valerie, I had no idea! Yes, so I'm sure you do remember. And will never forget.

    I can't believe it was 18 years ago, because it feels (for all of us) like it happened two days ago.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, dear friend. Hope you're back is feeling better. Have a great week!
    X

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  7. I know, wasn't that freaky?!?!?!

    "...but I believe you because I've had other people tell me things like that, where they had a sense that something bad was going to happen and then it did."

    Yes, and that's exactly what I mean about "energy." To me, energy is everything - our thoughts, feelings, actions, etc. are infused with energy; therefore, we can FEEL them. Even as a child, I was that way.

    Haven't you ever walked into a room filled with people and felt a "vibe?" Well, that's energy. And it doesn't necessarily have to be a negative feeling, because I will often feel good "positive" vibes about a person or a place, as well.

    " I don't know if you remember me telling you that my husband worked at the trade center that year as part of a cooperative education experience in college."

    Yes, I do remember that. I know several people who had family members who worked there and were VERY lucky that day because they either called in sick, or were stuck in traffic and missed being there when the attacks happened.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have good week!

    X

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  8. I know, Mark, when I eventually remembered what I experienced that day, and then realized how close it was to the attack, it gave me chills because I then connected the two together. Yikes!

    Wasn't the view from the observation deck incredible? And being someone who is not too fond of high heights, I was surprised that it didn't bother me. I also remember how windy it was being up that high. I'm so glad that I at least got to experience the tower that one time.

    "9/11 is hard every year. It never really gets better with time."

    You're so right, it doesn't.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a great week!

    X to you and Tara

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  9. Yes, Debbie, looking back, I definitely think it was some kind of premonition because when I eventually (a year later) put two and two together, I immediately felt that what I had experienced that day was what was being shown to what actually happened that day with all the people running around in chaos. And the towers shaking and falling. I got CHILLS when I remembered.

    Also, that experience came out of nowhere. And that is usually what happens when you experience some kind of premonition. It just happens and you can't explain it until it manifests.

    "This is one of those sad turning points we all remember, isn't it? We know just where we were and what we were doing when we heard the news of the attack."

    Yes, you are so right. And for me, I feel like I feel it deeper and deeper with each passing year. I watched a 9/11 documentary on about two nights ago and sobbed through the whole thing. It was about all the firemen and policemen who lost their lives. So sad.

    I know, can you believe it was EIGHTEEN YEARS ago?!? Yes, it feels like just yesterday!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, and for your kind words, my friend.

    X

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  10. I do too, Candice! Even as a child I remember feeling connected to energy. In fact, I used to tell my mother about how I could sense whether her friends were good friends or not, just by the energy I felt coming out of them. HA!

    I feel so blessed to have had at least been to the top of the WTC that one time. I can't believe that for the many years I lived there, I never went up.

    No, I've never been to the top of The Freedom Tower. I've seen it many times, but not to the top. I know that I'll eventually do it, but right now I don't feel it. Also, it's so damn expensive for a ticket. It's like $32.00!!!

    "And it seems that everyone can also pinpoint exactly what they were doing that day when they watched in horror what was happening."

    Yup...I remember EXACTLY where I was and what I was doing at that exact moment. Just as if it were yesterday.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a great week!
    X

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  11. Ron - what a spellbinding post. Your experience at the Twin Towers is chilling, and the way you described it made me feel as though I was there. And it all happened so close to when the Sept. incident took place. Thanks for sharing this.


    I always watch 9-11 documentaries this time of year and they never lose their impact. One of my cousins, Joann, worked in a building near the Twin Towers that day. She has since moved to Los Angeles.


    I'm still in bed with a bad back and leg - and I'm writing this on my laptop in a VERY uncomfortable position.

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  12. Ron, I didn't know you 10 years ago so I have never read this post. Wow! I got chills! I believe in intuition and think it's there for a reason. I'm sure you were picking up on something or you wouldn't have had those feelings. Being someone who was born in New York, I will never get over 9/11. I was still living there at that time and recall that day as if it happened yesterday.

    9/11 was a day that was both horrific and unifying because we witnesses how amazing human beings can be in reaching out and helping others.

    Thank you for sharing this today, Ron. That final photograph of the father kneeling at his son's name brought tears to my eyes. X

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  13. Wow...what an intense and powerful experience, Ron! And I believe that what you felt was real because I believe that thoughts and feelings are energy. And if you're extra sensitive to energy, you're going to pick up on those things. which you did. I never visited the World Trade Center, but always wished I had.

    I think you're right, the family and friends of those who were lost have got to feel the pain and loss with each passing year. I have such a hard time comprehending that it's been 18 years.

    Thank you for sharing this post, dude. My girlfriend and I both read it and were moved.

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  14. Hey there Jon!

    "And it all happened so close to when the Sept. incident took place."

    Yes, I know. And the odd thing about it is that it was almost a year later when I recalled the experience I had with what happened on 9/11, and put the two together.

    "One of my cousins, Joann, worked in a building near the Twin Towers that day. She has since moved to Los Angeles."

    I know of other people who did the same. Some just moved out of Manhattan, to Long Island, because the were paralyzed with flashbacks and could not live with the constant fear of "what if it happens again?"

    I watched some of the 9/11 Memorial services on the news this morning, but eventually had to pull myself away because I was bawling my eyes out.

    Thanks much for stopping by, my friend. Hope you're back and leg feels better soon!

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  15. Hello Elaine!

    I can't believe I posted this almost TEN years ago?!? 9/11 will always feel as though it just happened. The memory of that day will be engraved in everyone's minds forever.

    It wasn't until almost a year later did I recall this experience and put the two together. And when I did, I got CHILLS as well.

    "Being someone who was born in New York, I will never get over 9/11. I was still living there at the time and recall that day as if it happened yesterday."

    I can only imagine what it must have felt like to actually be in NY when this happened.

    "9/11 was a day that was both horrific and unifying because we witnesses how amazing human beings can be in reaching out to help others."

    SO true! It was a day when we witness the worst and best of people. It was such a sobering day.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a great rest of your week.

    X

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  16. Hiya Matt!

    ".... I believe that thoughts and feelings are energy. And if you are extra sensitive to energy, you're going to pick up on those things.,,,"

    Yes. And I've always been this way. Even as a child I remember sensing things on a very deep level about people and places.

    I am so glad that I eventually went to the top of the World Trade Center. I only wish I had done it before.

    I can only imagine what the family and close friends of those lost must feel each year on this day. I'm sure it's something they will never have peace with.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a great rest of your week.

    X

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  17. Incredible story, Ron! I believe that you must have been picking up on something or you wouldn't have felt what you did. When I was in college I took a Physics class that claimed that the concept of time is an illusion, and that the past, present and future are all happening simultaneously. So perhaps you were experiencing the future IN the present because time IS happening at the same time.

    "I also believe that even for those of us who were not directed affected by 9/11, we were, because we're all interconnected. We share the loss. And we share the pain." I agree with you! Everyone on this planet was affected by 9/11 because it happened to all of us.

    I watched a little bit of the 9/11 Memorial services on Wednesday before I went to work. Cried my eyes out.

    Thank you for sharing, Ron. Have a wonderful weekend! xo

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  18. My God, Ron, what an incredible post. Thanks so much for sharing this with us.

    It's amazing and a bit disturbing that you had this intense reaction just two months before the towers were destroyed.

    "When I closed my eyes, I could hear and see the shadows of people in chaos. It was like watching a movie on a huge planetarium screen that surrounded me."

    Wow, this is powerful. There are things that go on in this world that cannot be explained and I think this is a good example.

    I used to work on 92nd Floor of the WTC and I hated the constant creaking of the building on windy days. This was back in the Eighties when I worked at a job and with people I thoroughly hated.

    I was actually back in the towers myself shortly before 9/11 when I was working with an outplacement firm after I got laid off from CNN. I still have one of my temporary ID badges which they issued to us every day. It's dated sometime in June of 2001, I believe, and now the date reads like a countdown to the number of days the towers had left.

    This day will always be painful and always stir of up deep emotions and painful memories.

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  19. Denise, thank you SO MUCH for sharing that information about time because way back in the mid-80's I read several books on that topic which claimed the same thing - that the past, present and future are happening simultaneously. You're right, maybe that's exactly what it was that I was experiencing - the present and the future. All I know is that it felt as though it was happening all around me, as if watching a movie on a big screen. I was aware of what was happening presently, but at the same time, I was aware of something else happening at the same time. Two completely different things.

    "I watched a little bit of the 9/11 Memorial services on Wednesday before I went to work. Cried my eyes out."

    I was off that day, so I watched the start of it and about 45 minutes into it. I finally had to pull myself away because I was crying like a baby. I went for a walk and sat in the park, just to be in nature.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. And again, thank you for sharing that because it made a light bulb go on in my head.

    Have a faaaaaaaaaabulous weekend!

    X

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  20. Hey there Rob!

    Yes, and it was almost year later when I recalled what had happened and put the two things together. And I got chills when I did because I thought, "Was I sensing something that was about to happen?!?"

    Strange, hu?

    WOW!...I don't think I ever knew there was a time when you actually worked at the WTC. And on the 92nd floor! I bet the view from the windows was incredible! And you could actually heard the building creak? WOW! On the day I was there, I could definitely feel it swaying because it was a very windy day. However, what I felt while waiting for the elevator was much more than a sway, it was an intense vibration and shaking.

    "I still have one of my temporary ID badges which they issued to us every day. It's dated sometime in June of 2001, I believe, and now the date reads like a countdown to the number of days the towers had left."

    OMG...that gave me CHILLS!! And that was a month before I was there. I remember it being either July 24 or July 26. But it was definitely towards the end of the month.

    Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your story, buddy. You've added MUCH to this post. Thank you!!!

    Have a super weekend, and give my love to my favorite city in whole wide world!

    X

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  21. http://ladyfi.wordpress.comSeptember 17, 2019

    What an incredible story - and such a beautifully moving post.

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  22. Thank you, Fiona :)

    Every year at this time, I feel affects of 9/11 as strong as I did on that day in 2001.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a lovely rest of your week!
    X

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  23. Beautiful post, Ron. I no longer watch shows about that day because it just makes me so sad. I will never, ever forget watching the tower fall while I was at work and wondering what would happen next. It was surreal.

    I went up to the top of the WTC once - in 1980. I was in NYC to interview for my boarding school (they did interviews in major cities because the school was in Switzerland), and my stepmother took me to eat afterwards at Windows on the World.

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  24. I know, I try and do the same thing by not watching shows or documentaries about 9/11 because I get so incredibly sad. But as that day approaches each year, I find myself getting so involved and sad again.

    Isn't it something how everyone can remember exactly where they were that day, watching it unfold?

    Glad to hear that you were able to experience the top of the WTC. Incredible view, wasn't it? WOW...you got to eat at Windows of the World?!?! That's AWESOME! I was never there, but I've seen several movies in which the characters had dinner there. The view at night looked spectacular!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Welcome home! Can't wait to hear all about your trip!

    X

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  25. Sorry I've been MIA lately. I can't seem to get a handle on life these days. I'm sure this was an unsettling experience for you! We don't hear much about premonitions these days, but I'm sure they still happen. I never visited the twin towers but hope to one day see the memorial. I'd think one could not help but be moved by the surrounding energy there.

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  26. So great too see you, Lisa! No worries, my friend, I totally understand. I too have not been blogging (posting) much lately because I got a new job so I've been working and training for the past 3 weeks.

    "I never visited the twin towers but hope to one day see the memorial. I'd think one could not help but be moved by the surrounding energy there."

    If and when you go, you can't help but be moved because you can feel so much energy there. It's both sad, but also beautiful. Sad, because of the loss. Beautiful, because you see how humanity came together to help and support.

    Thanks so much for stopping by! Hope you're enjoying the beginning of our favorite season....AUTUMN!!

    X

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