9/11: A firsthand account

Dr. Edward Quiros and his wife, Dr. Corazon P. Quiros of Borger, were just two of the many people who saw the attacks on September 11, 2001.“Everything just stopped,” Corazon said. On 9/11, Dr. C.P. and her husband were in New York City where they were spending a few days to attend a re-certification review course for the American College of Surgeons Board. “Our hotel was right beside Empire State Building,” said Dr. C.P.At the time that it happened, Dr. C.P. was waiting for her sister-in-law, who was coming from New Jersey. Dr. C.P. stated, “She was going to take the subway and her subway changed with it being at the World Trade Canter. It was scary! She didn’t come and I was just waiting and waiting. Finally I got tired of waiting. After an hour of waiting in the dining room, I went up stairs in my room to watch TV and that is when I found out that one tower had been bombed already.” Later Dr. C.P. found out that her sister-in-law was late to leave New Jersey. “She was lucky,” she said. Dr. C.P. stated that in the meantime her husband was at the review course. Just shortly after the towers were bombed,some police officers entered the conference room where they were and said, “I understand there is a group of surgeons here. We have a bus waiting for you all to take you to the disaster site.” Almost all the attending surgeons were spread out and dropped off at different hospitals in New York City to give emergency care for whoever they could get there. Dr. C.P. said,“ My husband was brought to Bellevue Hospital. When he arrived there, he didn’t see any survivors, just body bags.” After 5 p.m. there were no means of transportation, “He walked from the hospital to our hotel, and it was so quiet. The streets were empty,” said Dr. C.P. In the meantime, Dr. C.P. called her sister-in-law, then went outside to look around.“I could still see the smoke and you could still smell it, because our hotel was probably less than a mile from where we were,” said Dr. C.P. That night at 2 a.m. there was an alarm that sounded warning people to get out of the hotel, because they thought there was a threat to the buildings next to the Empire State Building. On the same day, Dr. C.P. waited in line to give blood for two hours. people were falling in line to volunteer to give blood. It took two hours to reach the end of the line. “ I think people who took freedom for granted, suddenly had a fear of like ‘is this going to happen again?’ But then you respect the value of freedom and the value of lives too,” Dr. C.P. stated. On TV, she said you could hear people calling their loved ones. “ It was just so sad.” she said. “It just make you more cautious for things like family and what is valuable to you. The saddest part is how it changed people’s lives. It broke some families too,” said Dr. C.P. “I never thought I would see New York’s streets so quiet. It looked a war zone.”