My day started out normally, in fact I cant really remember anything important until I recall the conductor on my LIRR train stating that there was a large fire in the WTC and to look out the window to see it (about 9:00). We were just approaching the tunnels into Penn Station so we really didn't get to see anything from the Sunnyside Yard.
I work right above Penn Station so I was in my office a little after 9. People were talking about what was going on but no one really had any info. I was surfing that famous Fark thread and was showing people from my office the pictures people posted of the towers burning. When the buildings fell and the posts started coming in I was skeptical. Those buildings couldn't fall...but they did.
Around 11 my building was evacuated, and since I was so close to Penn Station, I figured I would get as far away from there as possible. I headed west toward the Hudson river where there were no tall buildings and hopefully this area would be of little interest to the cowards that attacked the WTC. I stood around a work van listing to the news blaring on the radio with about 20-30 others for about an hour or two. I could see the large pillars of smoke rising from downtown. I saw a couple of F-16 flying overhead at high speed, but they were too late to stop the chaos. Everyone had this blank look on there faces, but you could tell that there was a certain togetherness among all New Yorkers that day.
I went to a pub near my office and met up with many of my co-workers and watched the news reports and for the first time saw the building collapse. My heart sank to a spot it has rarely been. Somewhere around 1 someone came into the pub with flyers asking for people to donate blood. I gathered my stuff and headed to the nearest hospital, NYU Medical Center, on the east side. The lines for donators were huge. The outpouring was uplifting and sad at the same time. It was the only thing I could do, as I was told that there was no way to get downtown to help. It was only later that I learned that few people needed blood that day and that much of the blood donated that day was wasted. I returned to Penn Station and when the trains started rolling again I went home.
The most touching moment I experienced was a few days later. I was visiting a friend of mine in Chelsea. As I was walking downtown I happed to be walking close to a group of 5 firemen/rescue workers walking to ground zero in their rescue gear. As they walked, people on the street would stop and clap and cheer for them, I mean everyone on the street, not just a few. Manhattan actually felt like a small town that day. Truly brave heroes those rescue workers were.