Categorized | 911

NYU student is fortunate witness to tragedy

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By Lauren Sabedra
Originally published Sunday, September 30, 2001

Winston Grant is 60 years old and worked on the 30th floor of the South tower of the World Trade Center. If found, please contact his wife.

Mikey McGovern’s wife wants him to know she loves him no matter where he is.

Lucille King worked on the 92nd floor. She always wears an angel pin on her blouse.

No matter how hard I try I cannot put my experience into fitting words. Society proclaims the Sept. 11 attack was a sign of hatred. But did the terrorists hate Winston Grant? No, Grant was just unfortunate.

I, on the other hand, am fortunate. Although past days required a mask for the outdoors, I can still breath the air. Although my afternoon walks are confined to a small relief area south of 14th Street, I can still walk.

Mikey McGovern will never walk the streets of Manhattan again.

I stood wide-eyed from the front of my dorm building as two planes dove into the World Trade Towers and took the lives of Grant, McGovern and King. Three people I know only from missing persons flyers around lower Manhattan.

As an immortal 18-year-old, smoke and flames mean little more than a movie action scene. I just could not grasp what a milestone in history I had witnessed.

It never hit me when I heard the sound of the towers collapsing, a crash almost inaudible because of the screams from the streets. It did not occur to me when classes were canceled for a week or when local grocery stores and dorm cafeterias began to run out of food.

It was not until the next day that I realized the magnitude of destruction. I had come out of a movie theater on Broadway, a New York street notorious for cramped sidewalks and speeding taxis, to find a stream of cars on fire and not a soul around.

On Sept. 11, I watched from less than two miles history in the making and survived. Lucille King did not.

Therefore, I proudly join my community in making lemonade from lemons. Despite world news of hatred, the sun now shines brighter for me. I laugh harder, smile bigger and love with more sincerity.

I am still 18, though I do not feel as immortal. That is why I wear an angel pin on my shirt.

Lauren Sabedra is the granddaughter of C.L. ‘Ham’ and Patricia Wenzel of Decatur. Sabedra is a freshman broadcast communications major at New York University. She is a graduate of Trinity High School in Hurst-Euless-Bedford, where she was editor of the school newspaper and annual and a cheerleader.

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