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Remembering 9/11: ‘The Death Toll Was Too Staggering to Whisper’

Front-line workers from NewYork-Presbyterian reflect on the early hours of September 11 — and the unsettling quiet after the Twin Towers fell.

Nineteen years ago, New York City and our country were irrevocably changed by the terrorist attacks on September 11.

Nearly 3,000 people lost their lives in the strikes against the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington D.C., and in the crash of United Airlines Flight 93 outside of Shanksville, Pennsylvania. More than 6,000 suffered injuries.

Here, NewYork-Presbyterian front-line workers recount how that sunny September morning began with routine commutes and regular rounds but quickly turned into a call to action to help victims in the aftermath.

As the day wore on — and tower after tower crumbled, covering the streets of Lower Manhattan in a thick blanket of gray dust — the haunting silence that followed came with the devastating realization that there would be no more survivors coming through any hospital doors. Instead, what was left was an immeasurable loss that continues to reverberate today.

One of the emergency vehicles from the NewYork-Presbyterian convoy, all of which were destroyed on Sept. 11.