The World Trade Center Memorial Foundation — the organization that seems to still be clueless about what kind of memorial to build, nearly five years after the event — has launched a podcast series featuring interviews and stories from people who lived through the events of September 11th.
It kicks off with a the usual bureaucratic crap about why it’s taking so long, in an interview with Alice Greenwald, director of the memorial museum. You can skip that, and listen to the one by Retired FDNY Lieutenant Mickey Kross, who was a first responderand a survivor.
The podcasts eventually “will include conversations with survivors and eyewitnesses of the 9/11 catastrophe, recovery effort and aftermath; stories that will eventually find a permanent retelling in the context of the World Trade Center Memorial Museum.”
Here’s an excerpt from Lt. Kross, who was with Engine 16 on September 11, 2001, and his account of surviving the collapse of the North Tower:
“Hurricane winds overcame the stairwell and picked me up. I moved toward the railing to try to make myself as small as possible. For shelter, I literally tried to squeeze myself into my helmet. Darkness hit me from all angles and enveloped the stairwell in total darkness….My prayer was that it just be quick. But, just as suddenly as it began it ended, and I was engulfed by a total silence.”
… I don’t like to revisit the memories of that day, and thankfully some have been erased from my mind, but I feel compelled to try to remember and express what happened there for sake of those who can’t.”
I can’t yet bring myself to add my story, since I am still in it, and because I still cannot remember where I was or what happened between the time the first building came down and the time I was taken to a hospital. I’m told the memories are unlikely to come back. But not long ago, I realized that the slip I carried around in my backpack for weeks had belonged to a jumper, and had quite literally flown into my hands. Maybe soon….