Ex-New York governor reflects on 9/11 anniversary

Ex-New York governor reflects on 9/11 anniversary
© Getty Images

Former New York Gov. George Pataki (R) reflected on his experiences as governor on 9/11, as the 16th anniversary of the tragic event approaches.

"You couldn’t help but think of the individuals, the friends that you knew who you feared had died in the towers, and too many of them actually did," Pataki told John Catsimatidis on AM970 in New York on Sunday. 

Pataki was joined by other officials that week as they surveyed the damage to lower Manhattan after two planes flew into the World Trade Center towers, wreaking havoc in America's largest city. 

ADVERTISEMENT
“If you think of the worst scene you could see in a horror picture — lower Manhattan was like that. Amid the rubble, there were still fires burning and smoke everywhere. The air was full of shredded paper from the Hudson to the East River, and it was so thick you could taste it as you tried to breathe," the former governor said. 

“It was just this portrait of horror. And yet among that, you’d look and you’d see on the rubble where the flames were firefighters working to try to put out the fires. You saw construction workers trying to cut through the twisted steel to see if they could find people alive and save lives," he continued. 

“So you had the two feelings of absolute horror and tremendous pride in the way in which the people in the face of this unspeakable evil were responding, and that is an image, and those are two feelings I will never lose.”

Monday marks the 16th anniversary of 9/11, in which 19 men hijacked four commercial planes. More than two thousand people were killed after the planes crashed into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and a field outside of Shankesville, Pa. 

President Trump called for Americans to serve their communities and thank first responders in his first annual Patriot Day message in office. 

"The service members and first responders who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, and in the years of service since would be proud of what we have all witnessed over these last three weeks and what will undoubtedly unfold in the coming months of recovery," he said.