“We got to the World Trade Center in a matter of minutes.”
Retired NYPD officer Joseph Lutrario remembers responding to the attacks at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
Click here for the transcript.
Joseph Lutrario (JL): We got to the World Trade Center in a matter of minutes. And then, my thought was to run in and get as many people out as I can. And uh, we were approached by a teacher holding a child. She said, “There’s a daycare center.” And we just started grabbing children. I wanted to get as many out as I possibly could. The last time I went in the building, or the second to last time I went in the building, there was only one child left to grab. He was around the age of my son at the time. And, he was absolutely panicking, and I ripped open my shirt and I just stuffed his head in. And then I ran into the south tower. And, I realized that something was happening cause the floor became like a total earthquake. I remember flying through the air and being in a dark place with very little room. And I had no idea that the entire building had fell. My initial thought was I’m dead. They’ll find me tomorrow and they’ll bury me the next day. And then, I said, “Who’s gonna raise my kids? If I can’t do it who’s gonna do it?” Sometime later, I remember a fireman and paramedics and they were reaching for me and moving these big pieces of steel. And I was able to squeeze out. My arm was out of its socket. They popped it back in and they wrapped it. Sometime later, we met up with our unit and my supervisor said, “Joe we gotta get you to a hospital, you know. Your arm is falling out of your body.” I said, “No, I’ll go when I need to go.” And I worked there three weeks straight. I had one good arm and two good legs. We had a job to do and that’s it.
National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York, NY