Emily and Shannon Spurgeon


As interviewed by Ava Spurgeon, March 16, 2018

Shannon and Emily Spurgeon: In their own words

Shannon and Emily Spurgeon on 9/11.
Shannon: It was, it was like a cliche you hear about stuff like this. It was really… I remember the day so clearly. It was the most beautiful day, it was a beautiful, fall, New York day.
Emily: Uhh, Shannon was in the apartment, and I was at the laundromat… downstairs?
Shannon: Downstairs.
Emily: I was downstairs, washing clothes and ironing my outfit for a job interview that I had later that day, what time of the day was it, do you remember?
Shannon: Yeah. Nine O’clock. The first plane hit around eight forty, I was upstairs, and Emily came in, and I was, uh, laying there on the couch I think, and she said, “a plane just hit the world trade center,” and I asked, was it an accident? What are you talking about, a plane just hit the world trade center? And she said she didn’t really know, and so I just thought it was a freak accident, and some small kind of plane just hit the world trade center, so we turned on the news, and realized that it was a much bigger deal, and we started watching things unfold, and then second plane hit, and then we realized that it was definitely not an accident, and we’re watching everything live on tv. We were in Brooklyn, but not far from downtown, and so we could see all the smoke and just kind of watching it on tv and how crazy everything was, but then looking up, and we had like, burning pieces of paper, like, falling down the street in front of us, and there were like ashes everywhere, things that were on fire from the world trade center, like, landing at our feet, and…
Emily (interrupting): Like they blew across the river into Brooklyn and we were, even though we were in Brooklyn we were closer to Lower Manhattan.
Shannon: But you know, this stayed with me, like everyday I would get on the subway and be you know, worried and stressed out for, probably, I don’t know, probably a year, that I was anxious about things like that.
Emily: At the beginning, for me it was just fear. Just like a sick feeling of being afraid. The sadness kind of came later, where you would go around the city and just see signs for missing people, you know, and shrines to the people who had died. People just sort of brought things to different places, and just having this huge part of the city, like you couldn’t visit below fourteenth street, this huge part of the city was just off limits, and that was just very strange. But I do remember feeling glad we moved to New York when we did, because I feel like if we were supposed to come after 9/11 we might not have gone, and I was so glad to be there, you know, in those years, even though it was hard and weird.