Remember The Towers

by Richard Poe
Wednesday, September 11, 2002

4:38 am Eastern Time

“I shout to one of my guys, `You gotta shut down the airspace!’ And I’m the police commissioner. I’m not the general of the Army. I don’t have F-16s. I’m yelling, `Shut down the airspace! Call … somebody — whoever does that. Is there a number for that?’ ”

That’s how it was, September 11, 2001. The words are those of Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, recounted in an “oral history” of 9-11, compiled by Time magazine in honor of Rudy Giuliani’s “Man of the Year” issue (well, actually Time named Rudy “Person of the Year” for 2001, but let’s try to ignore that).

Composed entirely of direct quotes from Giuliani and his closest aides, it is one of the most vivid accounts I have read of that fateful day.

Also memorable is this September 2, 2002 piece from USA Today that gives a belated but important description of the unspeakable horror of the World Trade Center “jumpers.” Read it and remember why we fight.

It was worse than people realize.

USA TODAY estimates that at least 200 people jumped to their deaths that morning… The jumping started shortly after the first jet hit at 8:46 a.m. People jumped continuously during the 102 minutes that the north tower stood… For those who jumped, the fall lasted 10 seconds. They struck the ground at just less than 150 miles per hour…

“It took three or four to realize: They were people,” says James Logozzo… “Then this one woman fell… The look on her face was shock. She wasn’t screaming. It was slow motion. When she hit, there was nothing left.”

… Blood covered the glass walls and revolving doors that led to the plaza from the second-floor mezzanine in the north tower. People evacuating the north tower walked by this horrible sight.

“The windows were red … and bits of bodies were outside. We were stunned and amazed,” says Richard Moller, who escaped from the 78th floor.

Remember the towers. Remember the men and women who died on 9-11 — the 2,801 who died in New York and the 3,025 who perished nationwide. God bless the New York Police Department, the Port Authority police and the Fire Department of New York. God bless our armed forces. And God bless America.

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