On September 11, the 7th Annual Phone Cards for the Troops silent auction and luncheon took place at Windows on the River. As part of the fund raiser, I had the happy task of signing Love You More Than You Know.
One of the guest speakers was George Sleigh, a British-born naval architect. By the grace of God, he narrowly escaped death as his office is on the 91st floor in the north tower. The first plane exploded into the 93rd to 98th floors of the World Trade Centers’ north tower. No one survived above the 91st floor. As he climbed out of the rubble of his office, he prayed. George and the twelve other people in his office escaped down the only stairway that wasn’t blocked.
It took 45 minutes to descend that stairway. George became separated from his friends. They met the young firemen wearing 60 pounds of equipment coming up the stairs to try and rescue people (343 firemen lost their lives that day). Reaching the ground floor concourse, George was flung into a wall by the force of an explosion coming from the south tower. That was the second time he prayed.
Blinded by darkness, dust, and smoke a rescue worker miraculously appeared with a flashlight showing George and two other men where to exit the building (70 port authority personal workers died that day). As George and the men managed to walk out of the building, a young photographer took their picture.
The photographer then sprinted to his nearby apartment and emailed the picture to his London office. George’s sons happened to be working in London at the time and were desperate to hear from their father and know that he was safe. International phone lines were jammed. The next morning they opened the paper in London to see a picture of their father walking away from the disaster. (I cropped the picture George sent me.)
Because of what happened on 9/11, my son and many other brave men and women enlisted to help protect our country. God bless our troops and keep them from harm.