Remembering the World Trade Center, Sixth Installment
Back on September 12, 2001, in the hours after the greatest tragedy to ever befall my hometown, I wrote:
The only near-fatality of an extended family member of which I am aware is my sister-in-law's cousin. He was on the 89th floor of the first tower that was struck; that strike apparently occurred on the 96th floor, but the devastation quickly spread to the floors above and below. He was able to get all of his workers to safety, except for two who were killed. He is now in [the] hospital, recovering from smoke and ash inhalation, but we expect a full recovery.
In the confusion that marked those hours, not all the facts that I reported were completely accurate. And that brief paragraph most certainly did not tell the whole story.
It has been five years since I wrote those words. Today, I am honored to add the testimony of my sister-in-law's cousin to my annual tribute page, "Remembering the World Trade Center":
As I mentioned here
This year's installment is particularly important; it comes on the fifth anniversary of that awful tragedy and it marks the first time that I will take readers inside the WTC. My interview subject was on the 89th floor of the North Tower when the first plane struck. That he survived to tell this harrowing story is a blessing to those of us who will never forget September 11, 2001. This was the most difficult interview I have ever conducted, but I trust that readers will agree with me that it is among the most important contributions to my annual series.
For those who would like to read previous installments of my series, I provide this index:
2001: As It Happened
2002: New York, New York
2004: My Friend Ray
2005: Patrick Burke, Educator
Comments welcome. Cross-posted to L&P.