Former Quarterback Club President Kevin Danni recalls 9/11 attacksSt. Francis High graduate Kevin Danni was in the South Tower the day of the tragedies.

SOUTHEAST GLENDALE —- The Glendale YMCA Quarterback Club, in its 70th year, meets Tuesdays at the Elk's Lodge. The following are odds and ends from the first meeting of the year.



During the last several years, Kevin Danni has done his share of public-speaking engagements concerning the tragic events that unfolded on Sept. 11, 2001, when the United States was attacked in four separate terrorist incidents.

Danni, a former St. Francis High quarterback, had graduated from Occidental College the previous spring and accepted a job with Morgan Stanley, a financial service provider. Shortly after taking a position with the company, Danni began a six-week sales training session on Sept. 10 in the World Trade Center's South Tower in New York City. Danni, making his first visit to New York, and his fellow trainees were assigned to the building's 61st floor.

Danni shared many of his memories from the events that unfolded Sept. 11, 2001, while serving as the guest speaker at Tuesday's club meeting.

"It's great to be here with friends and family on the 11th anniversary of the attacks," said Danni, who served as the club's president in 2009 and is now the vice president of Morgan Stanley. "All of us remember where we were that day.

"I had just done an internship with Morgan Stanley in Burbank and my manager said I was going to go to New York for the next six weeks. I was 22 and had never been to New York. I remember taking the subway down to the World Trade Center that Sunday and was in the big courtyards looking up at these two massive towers. The first day of the training, I remember looking out the office window at the Statue of Liberty, which looked like a figurine. We had 300 trainees with the firm there."

On the day of the attacks, Danni, a South Pasadena resident, and his fellow trainees boarded a bus from their hotel to the World Trade Center.

"It was such a beautiful day in New York City that day," Danni said. "There wasn't a cloud in the sky and I was optimistic about being a part of this program.

"We began our training and we took about a 20-minute break. Being that high up in the building, I decided to go to the other end of the floor to look at the view. I looked out the window and saw what I thought was confetti flying. I looked out at the North Tower and saw flames pouring out and realized that some kind of tragedy had occurred. Our manager ordered us to evacuate in an orderly fashion and we went down the stairwell. We got down to the 55th floor when the South Tower was hit by [United Airlines Flight 175] on the 77th floor.

"The building shook and we could feel it going down the stairs. There was this eerie silence and then the lights came back on. We could hear the footsteps pounding. When we got down to the 30th floor, we were met by firefighters and they were very positive and told us we were going to be fine. I will never forget those voices and faces. When I got out of the building, I looked up and saw smoke pouring out and the buildings on fire.

Danni said he escaped the area and searched for a pay phone to call his family.

"I had never run that fast in my life," Danni said. "I could hear this thundering sound and our tower fell first. There was this giant dust cloud going down the street.

"The cell phones were all out and I found a pay phone in a park. I had my World Trade Center badge on and there was this woman who was on the phone. She looked at me and asked me if I was in one of the buildings and I told her yes. I got on that phone and I could hear my family on the other end of the line."

Danni's message to the packed audience Tuesday was clear.

"I want to get out there and talk about the people who saved me, and we can't forget those who lost their lives because of that horrible tragedy," Danni said. "We have to always be able to remember those heroes.

"Morgan Stanley lost 13 people that day, but all 300 of the trainees survived the attacks. I was lucky. I saw some incredible heroism and people trying to help one another out risking there lives to save so many."

Nearly 3,000 civilians were killed in the attacks, which also occurred at The Pentagon in Virginia and Shanksville, Pa.



Two games into the season and there's already reason for optimism for the Glendale Community College football team. The Vaqueros equaled their win total from all of 2011 when they posted a 27-10 nonconference road victory against Compton College on Sept. 1.

Though Glendale college suffered a 35-0 nonconference defeat Saturday against visiting San Bernardino Valley College, Vaqueros Coach John Rome said his team appears to be back on track.

"Last offseason, we had 18 of our 20 sophomores receive scholarships to four-year schools and they can continue playing," Rome said. "We have a very young team this year with six returners on defense, five on offense and one kicker.

"For the first time in a long time, I feel like we are fairly talented."

Glendale college will next face host San Diego Mesa College in a nonconference contest at 6 p.m. Saturday.

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