‘We Were Both There, But We Didn’t Know Each Other Yet’: A Couple Reflects On 9/11

The Manhattan Skyline is blanketed in smoke behind a plaque that reads “Skyline and the Harbor”. (Theresa Celemin, Courtesy)

I’m Teresa Celemin.

I am Matt Smith. We’re here in Hinesburg, in our home that we just moved into about four years ago from the New York area, right across the river.

It’s funny because we were both there, but we didn’t know each other yet. We met about five years afterwards. I was in Jersey City, basically right across from where the World Trade Center was.

I was listening to the radio, and I think this is like what happened to a lot of people: we heard a plane had hit. I just assumed it was a small plane and the pilot had a heart attack.

In my building, there was a rec room at the very top with these floor-to-ceiling windows, and I ran up there and saw the smoke coming out of the building.

I was like, “Wow.” I didn’t think it was gonna look like that.

I was living in Newport in a high rise. I went to the waterfront — there was a nice boardwalk, or, you know, promenade or something like that. It was just filled with people and just filling up more and more. Nobody knew what was going on.

For the full story, continue reading on VPR.org. This story is part of a 9/11 remembrance project, featuring the voices of Vermonters reflecting on how their lives were changed by 9/11. To find the project, go to www.vpr.org/911.