Hudson, Wis., woman watched second plane fly into World Trade CenterAlmost everybody remembers where they were on Sept. 11, 2001, when the images of two passenger airplanes crashing into each of the World Trade Center towers in New York City were broadcast throughout the world. For Marie Salzman, 34, a 1995 graduate of Hudson High School, the crashes and ensuing explosion are forever etched on her mind.
By: Jon Echternacht, Hudson Star-Observer
Almost everybody remembers where they were on Sept. 11, 2001, when the images of two passenger airplanes crashing into each of the World Trade Center towers in New York City were broadcast throughout the world.
The incident was later attributed to a terrorist attack by Muslim extremists.
For Marie Salzman, 34, a 1995 graduate of Hudson High School, the crashes and ensuing explosion are forever etched on her mind.
“I’ll never forget it,” she said in a telephone conversation from New York last week. “I was in the gym finishing my workout when I saw the first crash on TV.” It was a “gorgeous day with a clear blue sky, she said.
“I went up to the roof of my building on the 30th floor and saw the second plane fly into the tower. I saw the explosion and felt the heat from the blast,” Salzman said.”
“To this day, it’s still hard to look at the images.”
She got back to her apartment and was kind of frozen in place with the shock of what had just happened. “I left the building with just what I was wearing and my purse,” she said.
Salzman, an advertising account director and partner in the firm Gotham, Inc., said she traveled uptown to her office above Houston Street outside the evacuation area. “There was smoke everywhere,” she said. “I wasn’t sure what to do.”
Ultimately she walked to a friend’s place on the upper East Side and then caught the first plane home to Hudson where she stayed a couple of weeks. “I didn’t realize at the time how it affected me,” she said.
Salzmann, then 24, came to Hudson Middle School and talked about her experiences on 9/11 to a group of seventh-graders in late September 2001.
When she returned and could get back into her apartment, she had to show identification to enter the building to armed National Guard soldiers stationed throughout the neighborhood. “But it didn’t take too long for the cleanup and the neighborhood to come back,” Salzman said.
“It’s a really nice part of the city to live in. There are families and children. It’s one of the few places where you don’t feel like you are in a big city,” she said.
Salzman now lives directly across the street from the site of the former WTC where the Freedom Towers are going up. “It’s about 60 stories high so far,” she said. According to LowerManhattan.info, the structure at One World Trade Center is expected to finish at 105 stories and 1,776 feet to the top of a spire containing a television antenna.
She has a view of the lower Hudson River from her apartment and a park with grass and trees outside the building.
However, she hasn’t been without experiencing some natural disasters in the city recently.
“I went through my first earthquake,” (a 5.9 earthquake in Virginia rattled Manhattan on Aug. 23) and a hurricane threat (Hurricane Irene headed for Manhattan Aug. 26),” she said.
Salzman’s 35th floor apartment faces south which was less than ideal with the threat of Irene.
She moved the furniture into the middle of the apartment, took the pictures off the walls and secured other household items and evacuated. “But it didn’t hit as hard as predicted and we were back in the building (last) Sunday,” Salzmann said.
Salzman moved to New York in 1999 right after graduating from UW-Eau Claire with a journalism and advertising degree. “I love what I do,” she said but admitted to checking out the Minneapolis advertising market. With a current serious relationship with a Hudson man underway, a move back to the area is not out of the question.
Salzman said she plans to participate in the 9/11 activities in lower Manhattan marking the 10 year anniversary of the Sept. 11 incident.