Thursday, September 1, 2011


Stairwell Escape, NYC, NY

A member of our church in Jamestown was in the South Tower of the World Trade Center on 9/11, ten years ago. I talked to him later and his story was transfixing. He was in a meeting on the 60th floor when the first plane hit the North Tower. A stranger came by and told them they needed to move around the building to see the surreal scene unfolding there. Then he and others began walking down the stairs to exit the tower. Security came on the intercom system and assured them that the incident was confined to the North Tower and their tower was secure. So, they began walking back up to their meeting. Just as they were approaching their floor the second plane hit their building above them. As soon as they felt the impact and saw all the debris flying outside the windows, they once again started back down the stairs. Soon they met firefighters walking up the stairs into harm's way and he later mused that they all were soon quite probably killed when the buildings collapsed. He had looked some directly into their eyes and was incredulous to think that they were going the other way. Those memories are still chilling for him. When they reached the ground floor they were directed across a common plaza to the street. It was then that another image was seared into his psyche as he realized the source of the red spots they had viewed from the 60th floor after the first hit. Soon after he began a staggering walk in the street away from the buildings, he heard the collapse of the buildings beginning and turned back to see a wall cloud of dust rolling down on him between the buildings. He ducked into a deli and they slammed the door shut as the dust cloud forced its way into every crevice in the room. When that had cleared enough to walk back into the street he made his way to his hotel and was able to leave NYC on one of the last flights out before all flights were grounded.

Tad is speaking at all three services at our Jamestown church on Sunday, September 11. I saw him at a breakfast this morning and asked him what his message would be on this tenth anniversary. It was good to see he has still retained a small sense of humor. He replied, "Duck!"

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