Monterey Park Fire Department

Recollections of 9/11

September 11, 2001

6:00 AM
The clock radio alarm is set to AM 1150, a sports talk radio station in Los Angeles.  The first thing I hear are the troubled words of Tony Bruno saying, “An airplane has crashed into the World Trade Center in New York.  There’s a large hole on the side of the building…”

I hit snooze.

6:08 AM
“This is a very serious situation…”

I hit snooze.

Once I learn about the attack on the Pentagon, I wake up completely.  I turn on the television and see fires burning on both of the Twin Towers.

“This is an attack on a symbol of capitalism…”

Heavy smoke covers the Manhattan skyline.  Billows of black smoke rise from the Pentagon.  There are reports of people jumping out of the towers to escape the flames.

The towers collapse.

Survivors are covered in pulverized concrete.  Silently, they pass news cameras.  They are in a fixed daze.

I change channels, back and forth.

“All air travel throughout the United States has been suspended… The President has authorized the military to shoot down any unauthorized airplanes.”

“The White House is being evacuated as a credible threat has been made… The First Lady has been taken to safety…”

“Fighter jets have surrounded another passenger plane…”

I will always remember this day.

Stephen Legaspi

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