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Linden woman who survived ’93, ’01 attacks at the World Trade Center reflects on 19th anniversary of the attack

On the 19th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, a Linden woman reflects on her experiences surviving the attack, as well as the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993.

News 12 Staff

Sep 12, 2020, 2:24 AM

Updated 1,353 days ago

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On the 19th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, a Linden woman reflects on her experiences surviving the attack, as well as the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993.
Gwendolyn Archie still has the black pumps that she wore when she walked out of the North Tower and all the way to Queens to escape the 2001 attack.
“I have not worn these since Sept. 11, 2001,” she says. "It must have been the resolve that I had within that my feet did not hurt until I got to Queens."
After surviving the 1993 bombing, Archie says she didn't think she would ever experience another terrorist attack while working in the North Tower.
"The campus put new security protocols in place,” she says. “So, when it happened on [Sept. 11, 2001] …it never occurred to me that it was a terrorist attack."
Archie worked for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on the 67th floor of the North Tower. She credits her graving for a cranberry orange muffin on the morning of the attacks with saving her life. The North Tower was attacked while she was purchasing the muffin on a much lower floor, allowing her to quickly get out of the building.
“As I was standing there watching, I realized that what I thought was paper was actually people falling from the North Tower,” Archie says.
Archie says her company lost 84 employees that day, including her director. Every year since, she has volunteered with her coworkers to give back. She says that she eventually came back to work in New York City.
“It’s just a sign of resilience and…what you have inside of you that can get you forward and to keep you moving once you get passed a place of devastation such as that,” Archie says.
Archie says that she plans to continue to perform acts of kindness on the anniversary of the attack as a way to combat the incredible pain caused by the attack.
Archie retired this year after more than 31 years with the Port Authority.
 


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