Eyewitness remembers 9/11 attacks

By: Victoria Maranan Email
By: Victoria Maranan Email

SHERMAN, TX-One Texoma man said his life was forever changed on this day, eleven years ago.

Richard Gonzalez was on leave from the military, working in Tower One in the World Trade Center the morning of September 11, 2001. He said there was no way he could imagine, prepare for, or ever forget what happened that day eleven years ago.

"I still remember it like it was yesterday because it was just crazy, it's something I'll never forget."

September 11th, 2001, Richard Gonzales was working on the fifth floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Around 8:45 a.m. the first plane hit.

"It started coming down. Papers, like burning paper and it was kinda funny because we know nothing about no parade that day. So I got closer and closer to the window and basically, I saw a body coming down," he said.

Gonzales couldn't believe his eyes. An American Airlines Boeing 767 struck the building he was in, killing hundreds of people. He and thousands of others ran for their lives.

"We got hit and everybody basically got scared, got paranoid and we started running out of there. Of course our communications got cut off," he said.

Minutes later, the second plane hit the South Tower.

"Everything went crazy around the area downstairs at the first floor, even at the subway station, all was coming out. There was smoke, there was fire; outside the street you can still papers coming down with bodies on the floor everywhere," he said.

Gonzales was able to escape before both towers collapsed. He got away unharmed, but later learned his friend and a few of his coworkers had been killed.

"I stood there, I stood behind just to help other people and of course we had a long night and a long morning to clean up," he said. "You can never forget those days when something major happens like this one."

He said he doubts anyone who survived those attacks or lost loved ones will ever fully recover, even eleven years later.

"I turn on the T.V. just to see if we're doing any service ceremonies. Because I wake up at 7:00 in the morning like I usually do and I just stay outside to make sure I remember another day. Thank God I have another day alive," he said.

Gonzales said he visits Ground Zero every time he goes back to New York to plant a flag next to the name of a friend who was killed during the attacks.

He'll visit the 9/11 Memorial again next year.


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