I was there.
I left Manhattan at 5am, because a voice in my head told me to go home earlier than I intended. Insistently. I'd normally leave at 8am thru PATH at the WTC station, usually getting back to Jersey at 9.20am. I was awakened by news helicopters at 11am.
My mom walked home over the bridge to brooklyn from Lower Manhattan, covered in dust.
My friends in lower manhattan all got back home safely, including those who worked in the WTC and Financial Center complexes. Either by walking out or by evacuation boats. Many of the pople I rode the Staten Island Ferry with - the boat was a lot emptier in the mornings afterwards.
I got back into Manhattan 5 days later ,when trains and bus services were resumed. I went to Times Square. I smelled burned flesh in the air.
We dont talk about it much.