On September 11th, 2001, Joe Dittmar was visiting New York City from the Chicago suburb of Aurora, Illinois. He worked in the insurance industry and had an early morning meeting at the World Trade Center.


Joe was on the 105th floor of the south tower when the north tower was attacked. Then, 17 minutes later, his tower was hit. He followed the crowds as they evacuated.

And at StoryCorps, he remembered making his way back home.


Top photo: Joe Dittmar at his StoryCorps interview in Chapel Hill, North Carolina on August 28, 2017. Photo by Jud Esty-Kendall.
Middle photo: Joe Dittmar’s World Trade Center visitor’s pass that he received for his 9/11/01 meeting — set to expire the following day. Photo by Jud Esty-Kendall.
Bottom photo: Joe Dittmar (right), pictured with his wife, Betty Dittmar. Photo courtesy of Joe Dittmar.

Originally aired September 7, 2018, on NPR’s Morning Edition.