Paper stirs memory of 9/11

Published 11:33 am Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Dear Editor,

I received the Sept. 14, 2011 issue of the Reporter, which I look forward to weekly, and I am writing as I was very touched by the Never Forgotten page 12A, a remembrance of the terrible day, Sept. 11, 2001, when the World Trade Center was attacked.

I thank you all for kindness shown in the page of all who participated, and in sharing it with family members who were amazed. I told them, “Don’t be,” that’s what Southerners do, always sharing in ways of kindness of love.

I was an employee in New York of Elastic Corporation of America for 23 years and during that time, spent many days in our home office in Columbiana. I always felt being a part of the Columbiana family, and they took me in, “a Yankee,” as a family member.

On that fateful day in New York, we were at work, and if it wasn’t for the Columbiana office calling us to find out if we were OK, we had no idea what was happening, and we quickly ran to the windows and looked south. Though we were in Midtown, our building is tall enough that we went to the roof and looked down the cavern of 7th Avenue and had a clear view of the Twin Towers. We watched in horror and tears as we saw a burning building and seeing a second plane turn left, and it went behind the second tower and later we discovered into the building. It wasn’t long after the buildings collapsed and left us in show and the alarms started in mind and near buildings to evacuate, we made our way down 30 floors in darkness and chaos, but we reached the street by this time filled with hundreds of office employees from adjoining buildings. We all gathered in a very crowded church. It was our sanctuary, but we felt safe.

So many families were affected by this day of infamy, including mine. My nephew, Tom, was a lieutenant in the fire department, Engine Bi, 54, near Radio City Music Hall, and his company was called to rush to the World Trade Center.

The captain told my nephew he had to remain behind to man the computer station, and he did for many hours on hours. Night came, and he discovered and was visited by another fire captain. All the firemen from his station did not survive. It was terrible, and for Tom, it was many months of therapy.

So, in closing, I thank you very much for printing the article that I have saved to share with other family members at a family reunion.

I have retired since 2004. I do miss Columbiana, but I have many friends that still write, even though ECA does not exist anymore, which I found to be so sad after being there 40 or more years. I miss my friends who used to say to me, “Y’all come down, you hear.”

I look forward to my paper every week. Thanks for reading and listening.

Mel Ficara

Bronx, New York