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>Remembering 9/11 at Tigrrrr Express

My friend Eric G. from Tigrrrr Express has posted an interview with a friend of his, Kevin, who was in the South Tower the day it was struck. The North tower was already in flames and the south tower had just been hit. Read his exciting story here in part and then I’ll have for you a link to Tigrrrr Express for the remainder:

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9/11/8–My Interview With a 9/11 Survivor

Rather than talk about 9/11 from my own perspective, I want to bring you an interview with somebody who was in the building.

On September 11th, 2001, one of the worst days in American history occurred, and I thank God that my friend Kevin survived.

Kevin had recently graduated from the University of Southern California, and worked as a trainee at my firm. I was a 29 year old manager that was attending USC’s MBA program at night. In my spare time I was a DJ on the campus radio station.

On Saturday, September 11th, 2004, Kevin and his fiancee were on campus for a football game. The USC Trojans were back to back national champions, and looking to win it three straight years. Kevin stopped by the campus radio station, where I interviewed him about that day three years ago.

Below is the transcript of the interview.

Eric: Three years ago I was working at a company in Burbank. We had a rookie trainee, 22 years old, stars in his eyes. The company ships him out to New York for some training. He was in the second tower, and got out with very little time to spare. His story is a harrowing one, but also life affirming. So Kevin, I am just going to turn it over to you. Tell us your story. What was that day like? How did the day start? Take us through that day.

Kevin: Thank you Eric. Taking me back, three years ago from today it’s amazing that we were at a training class of 300 people that were starting at the World Trade Center starting on Monday, September 10th. You couldn’t believe the view from the 61st floor as we met as a group, and we were so excited about our two month stay at the World Trade Center for our training program. September 11th started out as beautiful as the day before. We got to the building, went up to our floor, and went to the training program.

About an hour into the program, we were dismissed for a 20 minute break. It was during that break that the North Tower was struck by the first plane. We were actually able to see the fire. Still on break, I went over to this conference room, and saw that the North Tower was on fire. Here I was, standing there, like I had concrete shoes, because I couldn’t move. Yet I had to move because I had to warn the other people in my training class. So I ran over to the lobby area on my floor 61 and everybody was already evacuating. So I did like everybody else and joined the crowd and started down the stairs. We got down to about floor 55 when somebody came on the loudspeaker and said that an unidentified plane had struck the North Tower but that the South Tower was secure.

There was a discrepancy with the news media because reports came out that we were told everything as fine and we should go back to our office, but the speaker over the loudspeaker never said that. All he said was that we should, “remain calm, do not panic,” and people took that as “go back to our office.”

Well I stayed right there and felt like I was safer in the stairwell, and within 30 seconds the second plane hit the South Tower as we all saw on tv and all I could remember was that it was a huge jolt, a violent collision. The stairwells cracked, and we knew that something terrible had happened. We continued our descent rather down 55 more flights of stairs and got to the bottom, and as we got outside, we looked up at the towers, and both of them were on fire, in flames. For me, it was just a sense that this was probably not the best area to be around, so I tried to get as far away as I could. I got about 10 blocks away, and that’s when my tower, Tower 2, collapsed, about 20 minutes after I had gotten out of the building.

It was such an eerie thing, hearing the people screaming on the bottom of the streets, and you could hear the rumble of the towers collapse, and I thought, how many people had died. Soon after, the North Tower fell. It wasn’t until I was able to connect with my family that I felt some sense of strength. Especially with me being from California, I had no direction, nowhere to go. Looking back, it’s hard to believe that 3 years ago, 300 people from all over, our second day of training, that all of us were able to get out alive. Read more of this excellent interview.

Other sites where you can read more of 9/11
A Living Text