Remembering the horror of 9/11

Kevin Danni — a graduate of St. Francis High School and Occidental College — was in New York training for an internship with Morgan Stanley when the first plane hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

He was on the 61st floor of the South Tower, which was hit minutes later by the second hijacked plane.

“I got down to the 55th floor and that’s when the second plane slammed into our tower, just 20 floors above me. I knew, and my group knew, right there and then, that we were under attack,” Danni said. “The walls shook, the building jolted and the lights went out.”

He exited the tower 12 minutes before it collapsed, running as fast as he could into the dust- and ash-filled streets.

“I’ll never forget the images of the firefighters going up the stairs as I was going down — their voices, their faces, their positive actions telling us, ‘You’re going to be safe, it’s OK. Everything’s secure down below.’”

Danni was among dozens of people who gathered at Glendale Fire Station 21 Sunday morning to commemorate the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) said during the commemoration that he often thinks about the first responders to the attacks, and praised the bravery of the passengers of Flight 93, which crashed in rural Pennsylvania, thwarting the hijackers’ attempts to crash the plane into its intended target, widely believed to be the U.S. Capitol.

“I think especially of those brave passengers and crew aboard that plane and the lives they saved on the ground, one of which might have been my own,” Schiff said.

A moment of silence was observed at fire stations across the region, and flags were lowered to half staff. Glendale firefighters and police officers also read a partial list of the public safety workers who died that day.

Glendale Fire Chief Harold Scoggins recalled how the nation watched the aftermath of the attacks in horror.

“I believe that changed all of our lives forever,” he said. “We could never envision something happening like that here in our country.”

At each of the nine fire stations in Glendale, a local religious leader closed the ceremony in prayer. At Station 21, Rabbi Simcha Backman concluded by calling on God to to “listen to our prayers for a world of justice, peace and compassion.”


FOR THE RECORD: This story has been updated from an earlier version.


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