Lai Mui Choi Lam

September 20, 2002
NYC
#V0305

I am a garment worker. On Sept 11th, I worked on Lafayette Street. On the day that the planes crashed, I saw many people on the street. At first, I thought they were being chased. However, I saw many people and they kept crying and running. I had never seen anything like it in my life. The street was very chaotic. Because my shop was near Walker Street, it was very close to the World Trade Center. I walked back to the factory. There were only a couple of people there. I was very scared. I heard many fire engines and police cars on the street. The first building collapsed. The second building collapsed. I was worried about my children. I got home very late.

After Sept 11th, I lost my job. Life was very stressful. I’m not young and it’s hard for me to find a new job. I hope that more organizations can lend a hand to help especially since my English is not good. I didn’t know what to expect in the future. I found a training class at CPC to learn a new skill. I hope that the government can help people like me because there are no jobs in the garment industry now. This will affect the new immigrants especially in the Chinese community. We don’t know what we’ll do in the future. I have not had a job for a few months. It also affects Chinatown’s economy, which has become very quiet and there was no activity in the businesses.

Translation by Lana Cheung + Sherry Kane.