Spencer Graves Cousin Worked In The World Trade Center

The New York City skyline doesn't look like this anymore. These two iconic buildings stood for more than just business and commerce, they stood for power and showed how we, as Americans, wanted to be the best. They were built in 1973 and immediately captivated the world for their height, engineering and architectural feats. They were that way until September 11, 2001, when two planes struck the iconic towers, the first at 8:46am.

My cousin, Lauree, worked there. She graduated from college, began working in New York City and raved about her career when she was offered to work in WTC. She was there during the 90's when the world set its eyes on New York City. "Friends" was popular. "Seinfeld" dominated TV and she was in the middle of it all. In 1993, a rented moving truck was parked underneath the building and then blown up by the 1,500 pounds of explosives it was packed with. Six people died and over 1,000 were injured in that attack, my cousin was there, unharmed. The names of those who died are etched in stone on the grounds to this very day.

On September 11, 2001, Lauree got up and went to work. Lauree would take the subway to work. From the time she walked underground, she wouldn't see the outside world until she looked out of her office window of the World Trade Center. She was running a little late that morning and got to work later than normal. She got there after the first plane had struck the building, which she had no idea since she was inside a subway car. It wasn't until she got the building that word began to spread about what happened. Speculation among co-workers and the people out on the street. She was escorted out of the building when the second plane hit.

It took over 18 hours to know the status of Lauree. In 2001, cell phones weren't as prevalent as they are now and even worse, there weren't the amount of towers to send signals as we have now. The phones were simply locked up. Her world changed after learning that over half of her office died in those attacks.

Two additional planes were taken down, one purposefully striking the Pentagon in Washington, DC, the other, an empty farm field in Shenksville, PA. 2,977 people died as the result of 19 hijackers linked to international terrorism. My family is fortunate, yet my cousin carries this burden with her daily.

Hug your family, put down your sword with your enemies and rally behind people. We are ALL IN THIS TOGETHER. I love you all!

-@SpencerGraves

Photo: Getty Images

Spencer & Kristen

Spencer & Kristen

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