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tv   U.S. House of Representatives U.S. House Members Remember Their 911...  CSPAN  September 11, 2021 2:01pm-2:17pm EDT

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he was not in his office that day. his wife could see the smoke from her house in long island. the phones were jammed up. he couldn't go back to his office for two weeks, but you could see the destruction from his office down below. the day before, my friend visited the twin towers on a tour. she was there on the 10th. then the tragedy happened the next day. everyone i worked with, her son was supposed to be on the flight from boston. she passed away. i brought food and she had the
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priest over. it was horrible. come to find out -- that was unfortunate that he had left early but he hadn't told anyone. she thought her son had died. >> thank you for those stories. we appreciate everyone who has been with us today calling in sharing your stories on the 20th anniversary. >> c-span is your unfiltered view of government. >> broadband is a force for empowerment. building infrastructure, building technology big and
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small. charter is connecting this. parks charter communications supports c-span along with these other television providers giving you from rosita democracy. -- a front row seat from democracy. >> washington journal every day live on the air. coming up sunday morning, we will talk about the legacy of the 9/11 attacks. watch washington journal live at 7:00 eastern on sunday morning. be sure to join the discussions with your phone calls, messages and tweets. >> 20 years ago, on september
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11, i was on my way to work in lower manhattan. i was on a subway as i did every morning and it came to a halt. this would have been right before 9:00. i walked out of the subway two blocks from the world trade center's. i saw that one building was on fire. that was obviously a horrible feeling in itself. then i walked to where my office was and i looked up and i saw the two buildings were on fire. in that moment, i knew that this was a life-changing moment because that's not an accident. i spent that day, i was unable to medical technician many years ago. i spent that day with doctors, nurses, and others in the staten island ferry terminal where we expected hundreds of casualties because of the enormity of the event. obviously, as we know now, if
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you were in the buildings you didn't survive or you were far away from the buildings. there were very few people coming in. firefighters and police officers. toward the end of the day, i began my walk up to midtown through the devastation. i suppose what i remember most now is the remarkable outcome -- outpouring. tens of thousands of new yorkers. these are not normally exuberant people. looking to do everything they could. huge lines to give blood, people bringing food to fire stations. it was a feeling that we had been attacked and we were willing to come together. everybody in new york city, again a tough town. everybody unanimously the question was what can i do to
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help. i will never forget the days afterwards because that was the way americans felt at the time. what can we do to help? president bush, i was not a huge fan, but he got the tone just right by promising retribution to those who did it but making that short and not letting americans think that it was a religious problem that we should go down the road of bigotry and hatred ourselves. for a brief time, it seems like americans were by this horrible event remarkably united. markable united around important things. all of the silliness that our culture shows, it was set aside for a couple of weeks. what our responsibility was to try to address the attack. some young people joined the service. some people want to work for the
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government to prevent this from happening. everyone contributed in their own way. particularly in these polarized angry times, i think back on that 20 years ago. as awful as that day was and i was there, there was an attribute to it that i missed, the coming together to help each other. >> i was in miami, florida. i had taken my young daughter jan to disney world and we were at my brother-in-law's house. i was lathering her up with sunscreen getting ready to go get breakfast then take her to the beach. i remember my brother-in-law coming to this guest cottage that they had were we were staying saying you have to turn the tv to the news. when we did that, we saw the first building on fire. then, we saw the second plane hit. i knew then that something was
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up. remember, i was a staffer for a member of congress. i immediately picked up the phone to call our chief of staff. he assured me john was ok because he was in a meeting at the pentagon. a few minutes later, that's when we saw the pentagon hit then i couldn't get a hold of anyone. i was scared for my friends, my boss, and colleagues that i knew. at the same time wondering what would happen in new york. we got the rental car that day. i ended up driving from miami beach over the next day and a half to st. louis where the car was at because i knew we were getting home on an airplane. >> i was 20 years old, i had just graduated college and i was working on of my first jobs as a full-time employee in downtown manhattan. i was on 14th street union square. let me start over again.
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20 years old, i had just graduated college, i was working full-time for a public relations company in union square which was on 14th street. i was commuting into manhattan at that time. i was passing right around where the world trade center was on my express bus. suddenly we were at a red light. i felt the ground shaking. i thought it was an earthquake. i looked out my window and i saw women looking up and we see a a hole in the side of one of the towers and there was fire coming
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out and smoke. it was very scary. the bus kept going and i got off my regular stop at 14th street. i tried to call my parents that day to tell them i was ok. all of the phones had been down. you couldn't make any phone calls at that time. i went to work, i went to my office. they eventually sent everyone home. the city was on lockdown, you couldn't get out of the island of manhattan so i walked uptown to a friend of mine apartment and i stayed there until i was able to leave manhattan. your first thought was we are having an earthquake. which it was always suspected that we would have some type of earthquake.
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that was my first initial thought. then, looking up and seeing the side of the first tower. it was scary, sad, all sorts of different emotions. i remember it 20 years later as if i am on the bus at this very moment. i remember it as clear as day what happened. the woman pointing up, all of that as if it was yesterday. i remember it being extraordinarily quiet, walking down the street and people were talking to each other the way new york city is. also, how it brought our community together. particularly my district. my district of staten island southern brooklyn was extremely affected. we lost so many people. firefighters, police officers, people and emergency services responding but also people who worked in the trade center and
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nearby. to this day, we are still losing people. we still lose first responders, firefighters, police officers who were at the site doing recovery for weeks and months who are now dying from cancer. we are still suffering 20 years later from that tragedy and that horrific terrorist attack. >> 9/11, it was the first day of classes at harvard. the night before, i went out with my girlfriend and we fell asleep. i got woken up by her pointing at the laptop saying i think we're going to war. she said that because i was marine corps infantry enlisted in the reserves at that point. i think i was the only reservist on campus at that time. i was also part of the unit
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based out of new hampshire we were trained to fight in cold weather. i woke up after the first plane hit. i thought it was an accident. the second plane hit and i knew two things. number one, it was deliberate. number two, it was probably al qaeda. the reason is because two nights before september 11, the leader of the northern alliance was assassinated by al qaeda and put two and two together. my first reaction was i wanted revenge. i was so angry that they attack and not only that they attacked civilians, at that point i thought that we may have lost close to 20,000 people in both
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towers. we lost a lot of people, but it wasn't that number. the rumors were going around that we are losing 20,000 people, a bunch of planes up in the air and untold whether they're going to be suicide runs. my initial reaction was anger. i called my unit, i don't know why it's not like they were going to call me up. -- it's not like i was going to get dropped in afghanistan.
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i called my unit to see if they could tell me anything. they said standby. i joined with the rest of my classmates in the common area where there was a big tv. you couldn't have televisions in your room, because the place wasn't wired. you had to watch on your laptop or go to the common area. a lot of students were crying, a lot of them were from new york, they were scared, calling their families. i was calling my friends to see what it happened. some of them missed going and being at the center by random walk. then, the day proceeded. harvard decided to continue having classes. i got into, i knew at some point they were going to call up more conventional giller forces like me and i had to start contemplating the idea that i would eventually go to afghanistan. i wasn't scared. i wanted to go to afghanistan because i was so mad. i was dealing with a side issue, one of my good friends is a tall indian man.
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at that time, there was a lot of racism going around. i was hanging out with him a lot to make sure he wasn't getting picked on. this was a very extreme time. i felt useless at that point because i knew that i was trained to defend the country and i was not doing it at that point. it was a very odd feeling. >> you are looking at the scene from a short while ago from memorial plaza in new york city on the anniversary of the september 11 attacks. 20 years ago, president bush was in a school in florida when the plaintiff the world trade center . after being taken to military


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