Jack Murray (JM) and Jud Esty-Kendall (JEK)
JM: I can certainly say, if you were gonna find somebody that day to go down there who was ready and very pragmatic and clearheaded, I was not that guy. I honestly thought that the world was gonna come to an end. Maybe it seems silly now but I thought, this is absolutely a nuclear event. People are gonna push buttons, and, today’s the last day I’m alive. And so I thought, ok well, I’m gonna go downstairs and see if the neighborhood corner bar is open. I was just gonna sit there with other people and see what was gonna be done. One of the owners of the bar who I was good friends with came directly over to me. And he said, ’You know Jack, you’re a welder. I’ve got construction experience. There are people suffering, someone needs to do something about it. Do you wanna go with me?’ And uh, I said, ’Well, ok. Let’s do this.’
We started walking south and the closer we got to the Brooklyn Bridge there were just thousands of people going in the opposite direction. And, we were among the first twenty steel burners to go in there. Just cutting steel. Later on in that first night, um, I had this one thought. That I was standing on this gigantic funeral pyre going into the earth. And that, with all the heat that kept coming out from underneath the debris and the intermittent fires that would come up, I realized like, I was probably breathing in the ashen remains of some of the people. It was kind of like a communion for me.