“The plane crashed 10 floors above us,” says Pole Leokadia Głogowska, who was an employee for one of the firms based on the 82nd floor of the North Tower.
“When we saw smoke in the stairwell I was scared I might die. Actually I was certain that this was the end,” she says.
“I began to pray. Not about life but about a peaceful death.
“But it gave me strength. I ran. When I got to the 44th floor we felt another jolt. It turned out that it was the second plane hitting the South Tower.”
“We did not know what was going on,” Leokadia continues. “The whole world knew, but we didn’t.”
“We continued slowly. Eventually I managed to get outside at the front of the building. But I did not feel safe so I began running towards Brooklyn Bridge.”
“After ten years the memory is still fresh. I try to share those experiences. I lead tours around Ground Zero. It’s one of the most important experiences in my and my family’s life.
“My advice is to get through trauma with faith. When Osama bin Laden was killed, I prayed for him,” Leokadia says.
Apart from the 2,669 American deaths on 9/11, 372 foreign nationals (excluding the terrorists on board the planes) lost their lives in the attacks – 12 per cent of the total. Six of the foreign nationals were Poles.
‚Sharing the pain’
Events to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in the United States have been held in several Polish cities.
In Warsaw, the US Ambassador Lee Feinstein, Deputy Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak and Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski met in the afternoon at the memorial to the victims of the 9/11 attacks in Skaryszewski Park.
The memorial monument was unveiled on the first anniversary of the attacks by the then President Aleksander Kwaśniewski and contains the names of the six Polish victims of 9/11.
Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski has written on his ministry’s website that „the criminal attacks on the United States changed the history of that country and the whole world, as well as the lives of all people”.
„Today, we share the pain of the families of the victims and recall the other tragic terrorist attacks which took place after 9/11, in the island of Bali, London, Madrid, Moscow, Mumbay and Norway; attacks which show that terrorism is a problem of the whole international community’,” Sikorski wrote.
He assured that Poland, during its presidency in the European Union, will spare no effort to implement such EU regulations that would make the war on terrorism more effective. (pg/mk)
Leokadia Głogowska was talking to Marek Wałkuski.
Source: Photo: EPA archives/Seth McAlister