"I walked outside and all you saw was smoke. All you see were people, you hear people screaming, you hear people crying."
It's been 10 years, and Tosha Phillips still remembers leaving Penn Station.
"We were lost, it was just like, they say you're in a land and it's far away, and you're just there in this land by yourself, and there's so many people there, but you don't know how to find your destination. that's how it was that day."
Amidst the pandemonium of that unforgettable day, Phillips recalls a scene unlike any other.
"That's one of the first times I saw new yorkers get together and start praying."
Her story doesn't begin or end the day the twin towers collapsed.
"It was something I will never want to relive again."
Six months after 9/11, Phillips moved to South Carolina where she started a new life. Four years later, on October 6, 2006, she married Sergeant Ronald Phillips, Jr.
"I was dreaming about him before I got this knock. I was dreaming we were holding hands, we were kissing."
The knock came with news of her husband's death on September 25, 2008, just days before her second wedding anniversary.
"It's been a tragedy to me just knowing that I ran from one thing. I ran and fell in love with one thing but the same thing I ran from killed the person I was in love with."
It's an internal battle she's grappled with for years.
"If he was here this wouldn't be happening. If he was here he could of fixed this. So it's like I'm alone, I'm by myself I have to do this alone."
After all the running, Phillips says her marathon is finally coming to an end.
"It made me realize take your time. Cry when you wanna cry. Healing is going to be a roller coaster. Like I said it took me three years but I finally figured it out."
It's a reality that she's paid a hefty price for.
"I fell in love with someone who's protecting our freedom from what happened on 9/11 and he died."
It's a loss that's changed the way Phillips lives.
"I don't know what's promised tomorrow due to what happened ten years ago."
It's a past that's still very much a part of her present.
"I want it to be over, I want it to come to an end, I want the peaceful America that we used to have."
Even though the smoke has cleared, Phillips says the damage still haunts her.
"Some people say it's a fear of dying, but it's a fear of being a part of a bigger tragedy."