"In real time, it was almost like slow motion. It just came down and down," he said. "At that point, we all started to run."
Glowatzke was able to get to a pier about three or four blocks away before the second tower came down.
All he could hear were sirens "I thought 'should I return to the site? Is there something I can do to help?'" With all the emergency personnel on the way, he thought he'd be in the way.
Instead, he started to walk toward the theater district in the hopes of finding a room and possibly a way home.
"There were hundreds, maybe thousands of people all over the street. On every block it seemed like someone had a car radio on and they had it on loud so people could hear the reports.
"At that point, and for several days thereafter, my body felt like it was rolling," he said.
It wasn't until that night that he saw the first video of the attacks.
"I think at that point, the shock started to wear off and the reality of the situation set in."
The long road home
The first thing Glowatzke tried to do when he left the World Trade Center was call his partner, Pete Layne, at their place in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
"I probably had called him hundreds of times, and now suddenly I couldn't remember the phone number," he said.
He was finally able to get someone who worked with Layne.
"The manager knew me and I asked him to please call Pete at the corporate office and tell him that I got out of the World Trade Center," he said.
It wasn't until weeks later that Glowatzke found out Layne never got the message.
"You had been through enough and I didn't want you to know how worried I'd been," Layne said during a recent interview at their Charleston-area home. "It didn't seem fair."
Layne said when he first heard that a plane had hit the towers in New York, he ran to the television to find out as much as he could.
Layne was terrified, but "I also knew that he would call me and let me know that he was OK."
The hours went by. "He never called."
It wasn't until late that evening that he finally heard from him.
"I think he finally called me himself when he got to the hotel in Times Square. I cried more with relief that anything else," he said.
"Then, of course, you feel guilty because you're actually happy and there are other people who can't be. It's a place I try not to go back to."
'My heart smiles'
The first year after the attack, Glowatzke said he "hibernated. I put on 35 to 40 pounds that first year."
He started to see a therapist, who helped him cope with the traumatic events he had seen and the changes.
Ten years later, they have seen lots of changes related to that one day.
"People are more willing to give up their particular freedoms for the feeling of being safe. You're willing to go through all of that stuff at the airports for safety," Layne said.
Glowatzke, who still travels for work, said, for him, moving on is a slow process and he doesn't know if he will ever fully leave that day behind.
"You don't really know what you're going through yourself," he said.
When Glowatzke was finally able to get home to Fort Lauderdale -- via a train to Philadelphia, a train to Atlantic City and then a small airplane to Florida -- Layne had "filled the yard with flags and had candles lit.
"My heart smiles when I think of it," he said. "I don't want that taken out of context. My heart was not smiling at this catastrophe. My heart was not smiling at people losing their lives. I guess, selfishly, my heart was smiling because for some reason, I didn't lose my life."
Reach Kathryn Gregory at kathr...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5119.