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The Air Inside - First Person Account from NYC on 9/11
| October, 2001
| Tim Jackoboise
Posted on 11/11/2001 9:29:02 AM PST by dittomom
THE AIR INSIDE - I couldn't breathe, because every breath took in a stinking,
pasty, black substance that had no oxygen....: Letter from a Sept. 11 survivor
THE AIR INSIDE - We have heard from so many of you, and it is appreciated more than words can say. We realize it's been difficult to get through via telephone or cell phone, and we have not been able to call out of the city. I apologize for the informality of this e-mail, but it may be the most efficient communication regarding what's happened.
I was released from NYU Medical Hospital in downtown Manhattan on Tuesday after the attack and am well. My wife, Heather, was in Times Square at the time and made it home safely after the disaster.
During the first part of the attack, I was on Wall Street, about four blocks from the World Trade Center. I had passed a six-hour licensing test Monday night in order to work in Institutional Trading with a member firm of the New York Stock Exchange. Tuesday was to be my first "official" licensed day on the Floor.
After the second attack, we moved from our eighth-floor offices on Broad Street to the Stock Exchange. After watching the terrible video of what had just happened, I decided the NYSE would also be a target and decided to leave the Financial District entirely, just before 10 a.m. I was outside, running up Broadway near Liberty Street, one block from the World Trade Center, as it began to collapse. I could see the tower across the plaza, as all 110 stories began to come down with a horrendous, gut-wrenching roar. It was horrifying.
I turned and ran east on Liberty Street with hundreds of others -- police, firefighters, businesspeople, tourists. We jumped over people who had fallen and tried to outrun the debris heaving down on us. I was caught inside the rush of debris, ash, and smoke that came down on the street, after I had jumped onto a pile of about 10 people behind a Dumpster that shielded us from the wave. Instantly, a bright sunny day was transformed into a pitch-black cloud of choking smoke, lime soot, and ash. I was covered with blast debris.
I couldn't breathe, because every breath took in a stinking, pasty, black substance that had no oxygen. It was in my eyes, ears, nose, throat, lungs, and stomach. I knelt down and said a prayer I thought would be my last in that street, as I remembered all the stories I'd heard of death by inhalation and asphyxiation. Lungs can only handle so much. I couldn't see my hand in front of my face, and I had no point of reference. The only thing I could hear in that deathly silence was moaning. I have never been brought to a point where I said a prayer like I said that morning. I couldn't believe my life was going to end that way.
After that prayer, I looked over and saw a faint orange glow in the distance that was my first point of reference since the collapse of the building. I ran toward it, and it turned out to be lights from inside a bank with windows blown in. Along with two other people, I crawled through the broken glass where other people were inside, like us, vomiting, bleeding, entirely covered with blast debris, and in shock. It was like finding a pocket of air underwater when you're drowning. Surrounded by millions of dollars in that bank, the only thing that was of value to anyone in that building was the air inside.
We left the bank for safer locations five minutes later, as we didn't know if the second tower would collapse onto us. I thought I was heading east, away from the World Trade Center. Because I was so disoriented, I made a wrong turn and was headed south, back toward the Stock Exchange. It turned out to be a fortunate mistake. A security guard grabbed my arm and pulled me inside, where I received medical attention, injections of adrenaline, a respiratory controller, chest X-rays, and oxygen. The NYSE has full medical offices and radiology. These people were incredible. About an hour and a half later, I was transferred through Lower Manhattan, which looked like a nuclear winter had set in, in an NYSE security van to the NYU Medical Hospital on Beekman.
As you know, New York City is in shock and in shambles, as is the entire country. Yet people have banded together here as I've never seen before. Every bias, prejudice, and class distinction are gone, as people are working together in ways unimaginable. Strangers helping strangers. People standing in lines for hours to give blood. People literally giving shirts off their backs. There are heroes everywhere, here and across the country.
We lost two friends, at least, in the towers that day. we will probably find out about more friends who were in those buildings and the surrounding area. We almost lost more. We are so thankful to have friends like you in this terrible time, and to hear from you. I am so thankful to God that I'm able to tell you this today.
Thank you. Thank you for your friendship, your support, and your prayers. Please take care of yourself and your families as we enter into a very uncertain future, but one from which our country will surely emerge stronger.
Tim Jackoboice '88, New York, NY
I was deeply moved by this first-hand account of a young Wall Street trader's struggle to survive, and the life and death decisions made that horrifying day, September 11, 2001.
TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 911; personalaccount
Havisham read this account in the Arizona Alumnus Magazine, typed it up as is appeared in the magazine and sent it to me to post.
I'm sure Freepers will agree with her thinking that the story needed to be repeated here. We must never forget what happened that day.
posted on 11/11/2001 9:29:02 AM PST
Here is your post, hope I got it right.
posted on 11/11/2001 9:29:51 AM PST
Wow. Glad you didn't post a hoax story like the (Sir Edmund) Hillary hallucination about Chelsea.
Comment #4 Removed by Moderator
To: dittomom; Havisham
Thanks to the both of you for sharing this story. We need to be reminded of the horrors of that day.
posted on 11/11/2001 9:47:12 AM PST
Ditto on the thanks. We definitely need to keep the horrors of that day in public memory.
To: kristinn; GalFromTheBay
posted on 11/11/2001 10:24:15 AM PST
posted on 11/11/2001 10:27:20 AM PST
Thanks so much for posting this.
The perps MUST be vaporized.
To: NYC GOP Chick
"The NYSE has full medical offices and radiology..."
Anyone have any insight into this?
To: dittomom; marylina
D.M., thanks. What a gut wrenching experience these people had to deal with. I can't even imagine. I got goosebumps reading of his prayer...
Thanks, dittomom, for the posting help. I owe you one. Though what one, I cannot say. ;^)
Hey, I'm gratified freepers appreciated this article/letter by Tim Jackoboice, the young Wall Street trader who barely survived to tell his Sept. 11 experience. Cheers and death to the terrorists.
posted on 11/11/2001 2:02:11 PM PST
To: JohnHuang2; kattracks; Clinton's a liar; Registered
I wanted to make sure this story was read by the Guard.
Cheers and death to the terrorists.
posted on 11/11/2001 2:05:56 PM PST
I wonder if he was thinking about tax cuts a la Chelsea Clinton
I wonder if he was thinking about tax cuts a la Chelsea Clinton?
LOL. Chelsea's learned to deliver the lie just like the folks. A depraved trio. (shiver)
posted on 11/11/2001 2:22:51 PM PST
"Anyone have any insight into this?"
I got checked out pretty good by the NYSE years ago when I worked on the floor. I had a thorough medical examination in the same building as the exchange. They don't want guys dropping dead on the floor when trading gets a little hectic. But I didn't notice, or don't remember, an x-ray machine. It was at least 5 years ago, so maybe my memory is failing me.
Hope this helps.
posted on 11/11/2001 2:29:03 PM PST
To: Brad's Gramma
Thanks for the PING, BG. Goosebumps all over again.
posted on 11/11/2001 7:48:29 PM PST
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