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Bon Journal


How naive we were to think that we could return to work on Thursday as if nothing had happened.

No sooner had we settled into our offices were we alerted to evacuate the building. Strong voices ushered us to go - quickly but orderly.

"Hold on to each other!"

I grabbed my bag and joined the crowd. But my heart was beating fast. What if?

In the dark fire escape, I started to panic. Could this be the real thing? Was there a bomb in the building?

By the time we got outside, I was completely dehydrated. Then I noticed that other buildings had been evacuated also.

Somebody shouted to move away from the buildings into the street. Somebody else shouted to stay together.

Some fifteen minutes later, the police told us that it was a false alarm. "Go back to your office!" But not everyone believed them.

Later we learned that there were more than ninety false bomb alerts in the city.

For a moment, I felt my fear. And yet, I chose to spend the rest of the day in the building. Where else could I go? At least, I was close to the telephone and the Internet. I was connected.

For those trapped in the twin towers, I wonder if they hesitated to decide - whether to look for an escape route or to call their loved ones. Did they know it was the end?

13 September 2001