Leslie Haskin’s book Escape From the World Trade Center may not be the best book written about 9/11, but her personal account of that day is a gripping one, that most readers will find very informative.
The book is available free as of this minute at Amazon for Kindle readers. The 74 page book may be short, but says a lot in those 74 pages.
She describes her day from waking up at 5:15 AM to boarding the train for her daily commute, to the terrorizing events of 9/11, to returning home later that day.
Lesley Haskin worked in the North Tower, also known as Tower One of the World Trade Center. She got off the elevator on the 36th floor at 8:28 AM and was talking to a co-worker at about 8:43, when the building shook and swayed.
Desks and chairs in her office began flying out the window. Leslie who had post traumatic stress was in a state of shock, not grasping the enormity of the situation. She for some reason decided to call a friend, to get an idea of what was happening, but the phone was dead and someone questioned her, as to what she was doing staying in the room and then she joined the rest as they made their long descent to the lobby and hopefully a safe place.
Note: Tower 1 construction started in August of 1968 and was completed in December of 1970. It took 12 years to build the North Tower but it collapsed 102 minutes after it started burning. The South Tower collapsed only 56 minutes after being struck.
It was a long descent for Leslie as she began moving down the crowded stairway. She saw many horrific sights during her descent. People in flames were also coming down the stairway. She would also see a decapitated body as on her descent.
At one point she was hit by a human torso. It was a race against time as the victims continued their descent as they descended the North Tower stairways.
One thing that stood out for Leslie was that she saw the look of fear in the eyes of the firemen forcing their way up the stairway, while looking for someone to help. It was sad that many firemen didn’t get the message, to evacuate the North Tower after the South Tower had collapsed.
Leslie finally reached the lobby and went outside and for some reason she watched, those who were jumping from the building as they fell to their deaths. The jumpers obviously had to choose their way of death. They had a choice of becoming consumed in flames or jumping to their deaths. Either way meant instant death.
Someone finally told her to run to safety, instead of staying so close to the building. She walked to where she could board a boat, that would take her to the train station in Hoboken.
Leslie finally arrived at home and it all hit her as she emitted a scream, as she saw relatives and friends, after returning home.
What had started out as a typical workday had turned into the most horrific day of her life.
Anyone wishing to read the book and read reviews of her book can find it here:
Even after reading Escape From World Trade Center we still cannot fully comprehend what Leslie Haskin faced that day 12 years ago, when American soil was attacked by terrorists. We don’t know what it was like to see people on fire, decapitated bodies, people jumping out of buildings to a certain death or to try to flee a building that could collapse at any minute.
9/11 is by far the biggest story since the year 2000 started. The previous big story was when President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated on the streets of Dallas on November 22, 1963. He and Office J.D. Tippit were the only ones killed that day, but 9/11 affected far many more people personally, as close to 3,000 people lost their lives on September 11, 2001.
The terrorists not only ended the lives of those entombed in those planes and buildings that day, but they robbed relatives and friends of those that perished of ever seeing their loved ones again, except in a coffin and some were even robbed of that, since there were no remains found of some victims.
Many other American lives have been lost in the years since 9/11, as the United States sent troops to Afghanistan and Iraq. 4,486 military people have met their death in Iraq since 2003. 2,270 more soldiers have died in Afghanistan, for a total of 7,256 military deaths, which means a total of around 10,000 Americans having died during and in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.
Who knows what building Flight 93 would have hit, if some brave men on that flight hadn’t fought the hijackers, which resulted in the plane crashing in Shamokin, Pennsylvania? We will never know if that plane may have hit the Capitol building or the White House that day.
bin Laden may be dead, but that is little consolation for the survivors of the 10,000 dead Americans. Life will never be the same for them, nor will it be the same, for those that were victims of the attacks that day, that saw images of dying people that day and those images will be ingrained in their thoughts for the rest of their lives.
Next week will be the 12th remembrance of 9/11. We have been fortunate that there has no been another major attack on American soil by terrorists in the last 12 years. However, we must remain vigilant and aware of any suspicious activity, that we see and notify the authorities, as soon as we notice that activity.
We must not forget the firemen and policemen, who paid the ultimate price, for being there to help the victims as they fled the buildings, even though it meant losing their own life.
Each of us should stop to remember those firemen and policemen next week, as they stand for everything that is good about America.