Our coverage of worldwide events
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.