9-11: Disaster Through the Eyes of the Heroes (Part 2)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Part 2 of the story; this part begins with Bob speaking and ends with Jeff's part, which continues into Part 3.

Submitted: November 18, 2011

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Submitted: November 18, 2011

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There is no proven meaning to life. Rather, it depends entirely on your beliefs and values. How would you die? Have you ever considered suicide? If so you're not alone. It was the worst sight I've ever seen. Dozens of people at or above the point of impact in either tower jumped from their floors. Despite the horror of the situation, I'm not sure I can say I blame them. It seemed to be the best option for some of them, a quick painless death rather than a slow, painful one. Their lungs choked with smoke, the hopelessness of the situation rooting from the fact that their floors were inaccessible to the fire department, and the extreme heat of the jet-fuel powered fire were extremely unpleasant. I can only imagine the last thoughts running through their minds as they fell. Were they praying? Were they grateful for a more "humane" death? Did they regret their decision the moment they jumped?

None of this mattered. I stood dumbstruck watching body after body hit the grouund. A new call came over the radio, telling me as well as a few others, including Jeff, to head to the South Tower, where there must have been a shortage of rescue teams. We hurriedly climbed down the stairs, often becoming lost in the ever-growing crowds, and stepped into the city. I looked over, praying this was simply my imagination running wild. But it wasn't. This was all too real, and as we rn to the aid of those trapped in the South Tower, I had just one thought on my mind- I'm not leaving this alive.

The second tower had been damaged much more severely than the first. We rushed through the lobby and up the stairs, this time to the middle of the building. A dreadful realization hit us. The staircases to the upper floors were completely obliterated; there was absolutely no way to reach anyone above the point of impact. With a sad heart, we cleared what floors we could. What happened next is nothing more than a faded blur. Everything happened so quickly; there was not time to comprehend what was happening.

We heard several cracks. The ground around us shook. Pieces of the ceiling crashed to the ground in an unexpected turn of events. We ran. Adrenaline is an amazing thing. Clearing forty flights of stairs in just minutes should be impossible, but at that moment, the line between possibility and fantasy was blurred. we reached the lobby just in time for the building to begin collapsing around us. The last thing I saw was a steel beam hurling toward me from the floors above. I don't remember much after that.

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I watched in horror as my best friend Bob lay unconscious, crushed under an 800 pound steel beam covered in rubble from the floor above. Frantically I attempted to lift the beam off him. As I did, more rubble came falling down. I began to scream for help, but with all of the commotion, no one could hear me. I grabbed a piece of wood to use as a lever to pry the beam off of Bob. I just about go the beam off of him when I heard somebody behind me screaming in pain, then without warning, I was hit in the back and the beam fell back down on Bob. I swung around in anger then realized the man that fell into me was missing a leg and covered in flames. I left Bob lying there and took my jacket off to extinguish the flames. Once I had the flames out, I took the man by his bloody arm and we worked our way out of the building.

Just as I turned to go rescue Bob, I heard a loud rumbling noise. I looked to my left at the first tower and before my eyes, the North Tower was coming down. I jumped behind what was left of a garden wall. Within seconds of my battered body hitting the hard concrete, the world went black. The second tower had fallen.  

The next thing I remember is being pulled out of the rubble and having the first words out of my mouth be, "Bob is still in the lobby of the South Tower and still alive!" Immediately the firefighter took my by the hand and ordered me to show him where Bob was. It took about an hour before we got into the lobby. Once we were in, I looked through the piles of rubble, searching for any sign of Bob trapped under the debris. I moved a piece of what looked like a desk. As I did, I saw a hand. A split second after I saw it, I rapidly began to uncover the body. Once it was almost completely visible, I confirmed it was Bob. I called over the firefighter to help lift the beam. The two of us removed the beam and the firefighter checked pulse to see if he was still alive. He stood quickly, looked at me, and told me to grab his ankles.

He said, "Your friend is alive, but just, so we must be quick." We carried his limp body out to the medics and layed it on one of the beds. The moment his body touched the bed, we were surrounded by medics and shoved out of the way.

 

 

 

 

 


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