Anniversary 9-11. Survivor Stories: Josef Dittmar

Josef Dittmar Counted how hundreds of times survived subordinate Floor 105 September 11, 2001. On that day, the father of four was at a meeting of insurance brokers in Tori on subordinate World Trade Center LLC Ensures that he owes his survival to The decisions you made in seconds.

He remembers it in great detail: cfirst chicken Plane hijacked by jihadists crashed in North Tower, 54 participants in their meeting only saw the light fading out. On the 90th floor, after hearing several calls for evacuation, they watched the drama in the other tower through the window.

“Was it Worst 30-40 seconds of my life. We saw furniture, papers, people rushing into the terrifying void and terrible things. I was so scared.”

account Joe Dittmar Swinging between tears and laughter. For him, telling this story is his way of survival.

Dietmar, nA native of Philadelphia, he walked down the stairs and found a classmate, a “giant” ex-football player who wanted to go to the bathroom. This man will not survive.

Then, on the 78th floor, a colleague told him to go up the express elevator to get down faster. But Dietmar knew that in the event of a fire, the elevator should never be used and he preferred to go down the stairs. “that was Best decision of my life“, to remember.

Sometime between floors 74 and 75 the chest The ladder started swinging violently The handrail also came off the wall. The steps rippled like ocean waves, while the walls got hotter.

“We smell the fuel,” he says. else The plane just crashed into his towerJust above them, between floors 77 and 82.

The insurance broker saw solidarity a The man who carried a disabled woman on his back. Through tears he remembers “Real Heroes”, a group of firefighters and rescuers heading upstream to rescue the people trapped on the 31st floor.

“Their appearance revealed it There was no hope. They knew they would not return. How can we be so brave and strong? “He wonders.

Dietmar continued his descent, and on the fifteenth floor he heard a security guard shout “God bless America” ​​into the loudspeaker, while calling for the building to be evacuated with a touch of humor.

“He sang horribly, but he tried to cheer people up, like Titanic captain it made him musicians While people were on emergency boats.”

When you reach the ground floor, Dietmar A colleague made their way through the World Trade Center’s underground trade center to the surface. Suddenly they heard a great roar. It was him south tower collapse. and then The cry of tens of thousands of people.

The survivor says he keeps hearing this noise and screaming every day. dated “911” tattooed on her wrist, pin from twin towers On his jacket collar and the stone he always caresses in his pocket, this date accompanies it “like a shadow.”

Dietmar He still works in insurance but has moved to Delaware. He confirms that he has learned to love New York City residentswhich is much admired. “They’re incredibly resilient, and they’re not afraid of anything.” He told his story hundreds of times to young people from surrounding schools United State as a way to deal with trauma.

It’s therapeutic“He says.” I knew it very soon To stay alive I had to keep counting“.

Dietmar fell ill COVID-19 But he resisted despite his diabetes. With the help of his wife, he decided to eat healthy food and walk 5 kilometers every day. Thus, he managed to lose 23 kilograms.

“The pandemica little like it September 11-I’m turning. I said to myself that I can get better“.

every year

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