When the Walls Came Down: A 9/11 Survivors View of Life in America

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Immediately following this victory, in June , Obama announced withdrawals of troops from Afghanistan. However, in August , sitting President Donald Trump outlined a new plan to increase deployment of American troops into Afghanistan to continue to fight the Taliban. It was the deadliest terrorist act in U.

Survivors and family members of survivors have come forward with stories of bravery and triumph. Tens of thousands have suffered. While there are thousands of known victims and survivors, some remain unknown.


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The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of the City of New York has custody of 7, unidentified remains of those killed in the attacks. The remains are located in the World Trade Center Repository situated between the two footprints of the Twin Towers on the sacred ground of the World Trade Center site. There is a private Family Reflection Room that is not open to the public.

Across the country, numerous events are held on this day to honor the loss of thousands of lives. Photo: Brian W. Yamnicky, 71, a Navy veteran, both of whom were aboard American Airlines Flight 77 that morning. The names of every person who died in the terrorist attacks are inscribed in bronze panels around two enormous memorial pools with waterfalls that stand in the footprints of where the twin towers once stood. A Callery pear tree that miraculously survived within the rubble of Ground Zero, now known as the "Survivor Tree," stands tall and thriving nearby.

There were too few stairwells

Twenty years ago on January 22, , Theodore J. Learn 9 facts about the museum and see 11 photos that will take you back to that fateful day when the whole world changed forever. David Berkowitz, who became known as Son of Sam, went on a murderous rampage in New York City during the s, taunting and insulting police, until they captured him.

Here's a look at his notorious case 40 years after his arrest. The world went into mourning on August 16, , when the King of Rock 'n' Roll died at the age of Forty years later, we look at the events surrounding Elvis's untimely passing and how his legacy lives on. On the opposite end of the bond area, overlooking the Hudson River, other traders were gathered. John Gaudioso, who normally worked in that section but was on a golf outing that morning, recalled that Ian Schneider sat at the head of a string of desks where he led a global finance group.

Schneider, were using land lines at their desks to take calls from concerned customers and loved ones, according to six people who spoke with them. Schneider, who was there for the bombing, in a phone call with his wife, Cheryl. In the equities trading area in the southern part of the th floor, looking toward the Statue of Liberty, there was a third group.

Here, Stephen Cherry and Marc Zeplin pushed a button at their desk to activate the squawk box, a nationwide intercom to other Cantor offices around the country. Cherry asked. A trader in Chicago who was listening in later said that she managed to reach a firehouse near the trade center. Mike Pelletier, a commodities broker in a Cantor office on the th floor, reached his wife, Sophie Pelletier, and was then in touch with a friend who told him that the airplane crash had been a terrorist attack. Pelletier swore and shouted the information to the people around him, Mrs.

Pelletier said. In Rockville Centre, on the front lawn of the Rosenblums' house, Debbie Cohen dialed the numbers on the yellow pieces of paper she had been handed by Jill Rosenblum. You don't know me, but I was given your number by someone who is in the World Trade Center," she said.

South Tower, 98th Floor, Aon Corp. Those in the south tower were still spectators, if wary ones. It looks like a plane struck it. It's on fire at about the 90th floor. And it's, it's — it's horrible.

Every life is important.

Even in Mr. Rooney's tower, people could feel the heat from the fires raging in the other building, and they could see bodies falling from the high floors. Many soon began to leave. The building's staff, however, announced that they should stay — judging that it was safer for the tenants to stay inside an undamaged building than to walk onto a street where fiery debris was falling.

That instruction would change at the very moment that Mr. Rooney, who worked for the insurance company Aon, was leaving a second message for his wife, at a. Rooney continued. Rooney said. As Mr. South Tower, 81st Floor, Fuji Bank, 57 minutes to collapse. Yes, Stanley Praimnath told the caller from Chicago, he was fine. He had actually evacuated to the lobby of the south tower, but a security guard told him to go back. Now, he was again at his desk at Fuji Bank. As he would later tell his story, those were his final words before he spotted it.

A gray shape on the horizon. An airplane, flying past the Statue of Liberty. The body of the United Airlines jet grew larger until he could see a red stripe on the fuselage. Then it banked and headed directly toward him.

At , the nose of the jetliner smashed directly into Mr. Praimnath's floor, about feet from his desk. A fireball ignited.

Barry Power's story, about being in the towers on 9/11

Steel furnishings and aluminum plane parts were torn into white-hot shrapnel. A blast wave hurled computers and desks through windows, and ripped out bundles of arcing electrical cables. Then the south tower seemed to stoop, swinging gradually toward the Hudson River, ferociously testing the steel skeleton before snapping back. Through most of both towers, the staircases were tightly clustered, and in the north tower, they were all immediately severed or blocked by the blast. Along the impact zone of the south tower, floors 78 to 84, however, the stairs had to divert around heavy elevator machinery.

So instead of running close to the building core, two of the stairways serving those floors were built closer to the perimeter. One of them, on the northwest side, survived. A report in USA Today this month also suggested that the surviving stairway might have been shielded by the machinery. However the stairway survived, it made all the difference to Stanley Praimnath, who, huddled under his desk, could see a shiny aluminum piece of the plane, lodged in the remains of his door. The plane, entering at a tilt, raked across six floors. Three flights up was the office of Euro Brokers, on the 84th floor.

Most of the company's trading floor there was annihilated. Within minutes, they headed to the closest stairwell, led by Brian Clark, a fire warden on the 84th floor, who had his flashlight and whistle. View all New York Times newsletters. A fine powder mixed with light smoke floated through the stairwell. As they approached the 81st floor, Mr.

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Clark would recall, they met a slim man and a heavyset woman. There is too much smoke and flame below. This assessment changed everything. Hundreds of people came to a similar conclusion, but the smoke and the debris in the stairwell proved less of an obstacle than the fear of it.

9/11 questions

This very stairwell was the sole route out of the building, running from the top to the bottom of the south tower. Anyone who found this stairwell early enough could have walked to freedom. This plain opportunity hardly read that way to the band of survivors who stood on the 81st floor landing, moments after the plane crash. They argued the alternatives, with Mr. Clark shining his flashlight into his colleagues' faces, asking each, "Up or down?

The U.S. isn't invulnerable.

Help me! Praimnath yelled.


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  5. Don't leave me here! With no further discussion, the group in the stairs turned in different directions. Clark recalls it, Mr. Coll, Mr.