Beth's Diary (Part 2)

Friday, September 14, 2001

In the days following the attacks, reporter Beth Fertig kept her friends and faimily informed through an e-mail diary. She writes candidly about her fears and experiences covering the collapsing towers and the aftermath.

I've spent the night reporting from the Javits Center, where there are hundreds - thousands maybe - of people volunteering to help the rescue workers. They're collecting donations of food, clothing and supplies which are being unloaded and then loaded back onto trucks and ferries bound for Ground Zero. It's an incredible scene. So upbeat. People have come from all over the country to help. Steel workers from Delaware, Fire fighters from Texas and Arizona, a guy from Honduras. It made me feel really good and I could see that keeping focused on something productive made everyone feel much better.

Otherwise, it's still quite grim. It's hard for the city to get back to normal. There were 90 bomb threats reported by mid afternoon. Grand Central was evacuated. People were very nervous. The airports opened, but shut after some more suspicious folks were arrested. And a thunderstorm tonight was probably bad news for the rescue team. It also made the rest of us even more jittery. I had just returned to the NPR bureau at 1 a.m. from the Javits Center when the thunder started. Not being sure what it was, I ran outside and asked what the sound was. Another person here immediately started saying 'It sounds like a bomb, I bet it's a bomb." I'm so nervous. Even the sound of the subway train makes me nuts because it reminds me of the sound the towers made when they collapsed. It was that same rumble - familiar but not, because it was above ground instead of below.

The president is coming here for a national day of mourning. I hope that doesn't entice more weirdos and threats.

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