Steve Giacchi (SG)
SG: As people started to evacuate, there were people above that were in much more dire need than the rest of us, people that were very, very close to the impact. so we moved to one side all the way down the staircase so that we could let people down that were burned, who were in shock. And we would yell down to the people below us to make room and let people go so these people could get out of the building.
I was with a woman that was having trouble going down the steps. and she was carrying a big, oversized pocketbook that I carried for her. I stayed with her from 81 up until about 44, and a lot of people were detoured other places—she happened to be one of them—so I carried her pocketbook and her jacket until i got out of the Trade Center.
And I had walked up the West Side Highway and this woman’s phone, once service was reconnected, just kept ringing and ringing and ringing and ringing. And I was so fearful of answering and I wasn’t gonna answer because I knew it was her husband trying to call her. And what kind of message do I deliver? What do I say to this man if in fact his wife didn’t make it out of the Trade Center?
Later that afternoon, we went to an office space that my company had in midtown. Sure enough, this lady came walking in and I was just ecstatic to hand her her jacket and her pocketbook. You know, i’m just blessed to be here, truly blessed. I play over and over in my head, I say to myself , What am I doing here? What’s my purpose in life gonna be when I can escape something like that? And I ask myself that every day.
So my ritual every morning is, I go in to each and every one of my kids, I kiss them on the forehead, and I leave for work. I’ll never leave the house again without letting them hear those words.