Events

My September 11th

Rudy Giuliani
Sep 9, 2011 14:53 UTC

By Rudy Giuliani
The opinions expressed are his own.

The following is an excerpt from an essay written by former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former NY Governor George Pataki from the recently published, 9/11: Stories of Courage, Heroism and Generosity, a book compiled by Zagat Survey CEO and former head of NYC & Co., Tim Zagat.

September 11 was Primary Day, a semi-holiday for those of us in government. So I had planned for a relatively slow morning that included breakfast at Fives, the restaurant at The Peninsula hotel, with Bill Simon, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney who worked with me while I was United States Attorney. He wanted to talk about a possible run for Governor of California. But when Bill, my chief counsel and longtime aide, Denny Young, and I were finishing breakfast, Patti Varrone, a detective with the NYPD, who served on my police detail, interrupted us with news that an airplane had hit the World Trade Center. As Denny and I left, Bill said, “Good luck. God bless you,” and then hugged us.

For Denny and me, this was business as usual; at least twice a month, I got called out to major emergencies such as a big fire, subway derailment or hostage situation. A plane crash was bad, but this is New York, and along with its greatness, serious incidents do occur. As our car approached Canal Street, we saw a big flash of light, and within seconds we got a call from the police that a second plane had hit the towers. The situation was no longer business as usual. We had been attacked.

Despite the chaos outside, the mood in the car was calm and deliberate. With Patti in the front seat next to my driver, and Denny and me in the back, we tried to get through to the Governor and White House, but cell service was flooded and hardly working. Everybody was doing his or her job and reinforced each other.

We still hadn’t reached the President or Governor when we stopped about three blocks from the South Tower. Getting out of our SUV; I was met by Deputy Mayor Joe Lhota and Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik right behind him. “It’s really, really bad, Mayor. It’s really bad,” Joe said, “People are throwing themselves out of the building.”

Battling death at the World Trade Center

Lauren Manning
Sep 7, 2011 15:56 UTC

This is an excerpt from Unmeasured Strength, Lauren Manning’s account of surviving the 9/11 attack at the World Trade Center and her struggle to recover from severe burn injuries.

The flames were consuming me, and as the first searing pain hit, I thought, This can’t be happening to me.

The fire embraced my body tighter than any suitor, touching every inch of my flesh, clawing through my clothes to spread its hands over me, grabbing left and right, rifling over my shoulder blades, down my back, wrapping my legs in agony, gripping my left arm, and taking hold of both my hands. I covered my face, but I could not scream. My voice was powerless. I was in a vacuum, the air depleted of oxygen, and everything was muffled. The screams, the roar of the fire, the shattering sound of breaking glass— all that was very far away. I was suspended in space.

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