Will Jimeno was a victim of the attack on Twin Towers. How were you surviving?
Was Jimeno a victim of the attack on the World Trade Towers. How were you surviving?
He remained in the debris of the Twin Towers for 13 hours, imprisoned until being rescued. But what occurred afterwards may be the most amazing thing.
It is the strangest thing that Will Jimeno has not broken bones amid the debris of the World Trade Centre. The police officer of the Port Authority had 220 stories about the World Trade Center — two towers, first to the south and then the north — that were unimaginable violence, speed and intensity, one that killed three other officers that he had just stood by for several hours on 11 Sept. 2001 and buried him and his surviving servant in the shade of concrete and rock. Weeks later, his sister questioned the doctors when they recovered, still hospitalized, wrapped in the bands and in the pipes, and flatlined on the operation table, “How many bones did he break?” His sister said to them.
“None,” they said. “None.”
The first plane hit at 8:46 and then at 9:03, followed by the breakdown of the South Tower at 10:28 and the North by 9:59 and, throughout the New York region, hospitals were asked whether or not they would receive airborne trauma patients by disaster protocols, by planning mass casualties and even by up-and down the east coast.
But by afternoon it did not show that the torrent of patients was coming, as the physicians and nurses queued up in overflowing emergency rooms and three locations in cafeterias. Almost all of those close or trapped within were killed by the severity of the fall of the buildings. With the rescuers starting to flood the rubble field, which was later known as Ground Zero, they did not find survivors late Tuesday and in the afternoon.
Well, nearly none.
The collapse that day survived 18 people. Most were in the Stairwell B of the north tower with a group of FDNY firemen who were virtually untouched. One of them survived after the steps she rushed down disintegrated around her. But only two individuals were saved from below: Jimeno and John McLoughlin, his sergeant that day.
The narrative of Jimeno and McLoughlin is an unbelievable story of survival-a film from 2006 by Oliver Stone. And yet I’ve been attracted to him not because of what it was that day but because of what happened following, as a part of my 2019 oral narrative of the Sept. 11 attacks, The One Plane in the Skies.
The part Jimeno did not know is the part after his rescue and the completion, the first time in his new memoir, “Sunrise Through the Darkness.” That is the part of Jimeno’s story that most Americans have never known, which makes it worth recalling when we look back at the 20th anniversary of Sept. 11, the two following decades of the War on Terror, and his legacy. The stories are worthwhile remembering.
After all, Jimeno was one of the first to deal with what may have been the defining injury of the war on terror when he hadn’t broken any bones on 9/11.
Chapter 1 The collapse
Tuesday 11th September was so lovely that Jimeno thought about hunting for the day off. The huge storm which bloomed in the North-East the previous day left a bright blue sky and a sharp drop in temperatures behind the sun. Jimeno was an archer — he had bow-hunting from his wife’s family — and it was a great day to hunt for deer. In the autumn of this year, his wife Allison had her second kid, seven months pregnant.
His goal was to become a police agent for only nine months. Jimeno, 32, was still a novice. His parents arrived in the United States in 1970 when he was only two years old, from Colombia. They settled in Hackensack, N.J. He joined the Navy right out of high school, serving on the USS Tripoli helicopter carrier, and before returning home, went to college and took a test to become a police officer at the New York and New Jersey Port Authority.
He joined the as he had been sent by his own father, a welder, and his mother, a beauty scientist.
At the Marriott Hotel at the World Trade Center between Twin Towers bases in January 2001, he and 76 other police cadets graduated from the event. The 16-hectare property is a bright gem among the 1.700-stranded Port Authority’s protected assets, which include safeguarding New York’s airports, LaGuardia, Kennedy, and Newark, the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City, the PATH rail system, and tunnels and bridges connecting the two states. During the event he saw Bianca waving in a throng, his younger daughter crying, “Daddy! Papa!” Jimeno would remark afterwards that they had great smiles on their faces. They have been waiting for his whole life to be a policeman.
On Tuesday, September 11, he decided to forget about the hunting and head for a roll call at 6:45 a.m.; the bus terminal was allocated at that time, and the shadow was over the junction while he was at the 42nd and 8th Avenues, at 8:46 a.m., observing the commuter rush at work. “For a single second, the roadway covered everything,” remembers Jimeno. He noticed people pointing, but he didn’t remember hearing an aircraft; he never realized what the huge shadow had cast.
Jimeno and every other PAPD officer at the bus station apparently summoned back to the main desk in just a few minutes. He walked back inside his house with a rookie colleague, Dominick Pezsulo, an academic buddy, telling him, “Something must be very terrible for you all to call us back to the policeman”—Pezzulo was the one person in Jimeno’s life to mention his childhood surname.
Jimeno said, “Yeah, I can’t figure out what it might be.” Inside, American Airlines Flight 11 was notified that they struck the World Trade Center North Tower.
and ordered south to assist with the rescue task. Allison was quickly contacted by Jimeno to clarify that he was OK, but he was hanging up hastily, with no traditional ‘I love you’ in mind over the hours to come.
On Ninth Avenue, the cops took the MTA bus and were racing with a PAPD suburban speeding ahead towards the flaming structure. Once upon a time, amidst the day’s pandemonium, the second flight, United Airlines Flight 175, struck Jimeno never even. The papers came down in minutes and the gravity of the situation and the job ahead fell as they began to see people injured while still blocked away. He remembered that in an oral history with the Memorial and Museum of 9/11, one of hundreds I utilized to create my 2019 book, “I can depict Armageddon-that’s how terrible it was.”
Then, he saw himself with his first jumper: a pink, colored shirt and khakis, a blonde person. Jimeno said that When he had leapt, he had nearly jumped like Jesus was on a cross. He had simply leapt, looked in the air and just descended.
Sergeant John McLoughlin requested volunteers to assist inside — he wanted particular officers who were acquainted with the Scott Air-Pak respirative equipment used by PAPD to combat fires. The only duty at the airports led to the agency’s being cross-trained all port authority officers in the fundamental combat of fires, and Mr Jimeno, Mr Pezzulo, and a third officer, Antonio Rodrigues, talked – they still recalled their training, since they had just finished graduating.
The Navy trained him. He had shown him that it is better to follow a leader that you admire who would improve your chances of living in a terrible condition. Jimeno remembers that he wanted to remain near to McLoughlin that day: Over the previous months, he was respectful of the expertise of the 22-year PAPD veteran, an Irish-American mustachio.
The tiny crew proceeded to the underground station of the PAPD at the Trade Center – a component of the large underground tunnel network, retail centers, and transport stations filling the complex of the 16-acre trade centre. The Twin Towers dominated the skyline of Manhattan, but the whole world center of trade consisted of seven buildings with more than 50,000 inhabitants each day and around 200,000 visitors every day. They put helmets, rescued equipment and the Scott Air-Paks at the PAPD substation. Jimeno, who constructed like a large-scale tank, went about without one and found the only PAPD firefighters’ jackets they could locate. Jimeno said that they seemed to have weapons in their hands like firemen.
As they crossed the PAPD office, he saw an odd piece of the wrecked fuselage on the reception desk, where a PAPD investigator had put it. he remembers he knew he was astonished, he wondered why there was a piece of the aircraft in the police office there, despite you knew a plane had hit.
Then the gang picked up a big postcard and started hunting for more rescue items to load it before heading to the fiery inferno. Christopher Amoroso, another cop, joined them, a piece of debris in his face. Rejecting his injury worry Amoroso added they simply had to continue working,
They saw the marble walls crashing and went through several inches of water as bursting tubes inundated the structure as they crossed the tunnels and passageways beneath the tower.
Jimeno recalls that he fed his other cops’ professionalism. they were all frightened, but they had a duty to perform. This whole catastrophe, inside the World Trade Center, people assist one other in the middle of all this turmoil. He recalls witnessing a black guy wearing this blonde who was cut on her leg and a white gentleman. If they as rescue personnel can be that courageous, they needed to be three levels above them. He recalls himself, Will, since these regular people were depending on them.
They went by a squad of five PAPD policemen and shot a cart with equipment, and Walwyn Stuart, another buddy of the school. They hit their fingers and said, “be careful,” and they walked in their own ways. Jimeno remembers Thiat was the last time they had seen one of these police officers at the Port Authority.
Moments later, at 9:59am, the five-member Jimeno crew was in the north-south tower hall when they heard a boom and a rising rumble. “All began to shake,” recounted Jimeno. He remembers that he glanced back to the lobby, and he saw his home come in with a fireball the size. Sergeant McLoughlin shouted, “Look!” wondered what should have he done.
He saw a light in front of him while he was jogging. He remembers thinking, Wow, he ought to rush into the light in a split second, maybe it was going to take him out. Then he recalled that they agreed not to leave. He turned left, so he began to follow Dominick. He went to the left. All I felt was that his body was going up and smashed in the air.
They were first struck by the breeze as the southern tower came down and squeezed, and the corridor collapsed about them. Jimeno felt his helmet hit and knocked off. His radio went flying. He felt a chunk of concrete. They became stuffed with waste. He tried to struggle for his life. It ended as quickly as that occurred.
Trapped in the debris, he started to call on a PAPD emergency code “8-13! He called his radio for assistance! 8 to 13!Officers down, Officers down, 8 to 13!Jimeno—we are down! Jimeno—we are down! It’s our team! “
McLoughlin attempted the roll call in the midst of the debris saying that sound off! and asked about everyone then Sound off!. Pezzulo also buried under adjacent rubble. These were the words of Dominick. “Jimeno!” he exclaimed. And this is all they heard. Jimeno would simply shout, ‘Chris!’ for the next two minutes, then ‘A-Rody!’ for Christopher Amoroso’, which was the nickname of Antonio Rodrigues. almost two minutes he simply continued screaming. Chris! ‘A-Rod! Hi Chris! A-Rod, A-Rod, A-Rod, AAnd Dominick replied that they were in a better position.
Chapter 2: Trapped
Peluzzo was pushed to the left by Jimeno, in the midst of loose rubble, while on the left hand side, one of the walls of the corridor had fallen down, pinning Jimeno face up. The policemen had buried and divided by the breaking down of the hallway. He only had enough space to cover his face. It looked like McLoughlin was approximately 15 feet away, stuck in a fetal position, yet he did not crash. Jimeno recounted that he could listen to him, but he couldn’t see him because it was just concrete straight beyond his feet. You could see a daylight patch well above your head, perhaps 30 feet up in the midst of the broken rubble.
Peluzzo was able to shy out after 10 minutes and moved about in Jimeno’s area. Jimeno can walk out of this hollow, but Dominick replied, ‘No, because if he went, he wouldn’t ever find them,’ . They had to get Jimeno out, and Jimeno and him had to get him out. The discussion lasted many minutes, with Peluzzo looking forward to leaving and finding additional assistance. They were human beings—and there you might go for assistance, go to freedom, return, and actually remain in the hell-hole of your team,” Jimeno remembers that no super-heroes there – they were ordinary people. It was a very difficult choice for Dominick. He said, he would get Will out.’.
When Peluzzo tried without success to rescue Jimeno, the remaining three spoke about what they believed was happening. McLoughlin said a vehicle bomb may have detonated in a tactic typical among terrorists in the Middle East outside the building on the plaza on the upper floor-first assault to attract rescuers, and then start a secondary explosion against them. They continued to scream, “PAPD cops are down!” in the hope of someone hearing their distress. Lastly, Peluzzo conceded defeat after approximately 15 minutes. Jimeno said, “He replied, ‘I cannot get you out.”
It had been 10:28.
And there came the second rumbling, like the previous one.
A little back up, he recalled Dominick, and he told him, That was it. It finished. It sounded like they were approaching a humiliating locomotive. He was going to die, all he could think was. One thing he always did with his daughters — Allison and Bianca — was that he would make the sign for ‘I love you.’ he created the symbol ‘I love you’—and over his chest he crossed it. They would inform his wife at least that he had passed through like this, so she would know that he was thinking of her. He imagined if he would die and find them.
Peluzzo firmly struck a piece of falling concrete, and Jimeno saw it tumble down like a rag doll, while somewhere McLoughlin also swept up by more scraps and started to cry out in pain. They really had to land both towers on them as Jimeno says.
And the collapse stopped as soon as it started.
Peluzzo bled severely and told Jimeno, that he is a dying man, He begged McLoughlin for a pause to find strength for comedy. “To Sergeant McLoughlin, Dominick asks, ‘if he could have a 3-8?’ a break for a policeman at the Port Authority,. Sergeant McLoughlin said, yes, he could have 3-8.
Jimeno gazed at Dominick as he told him not to forget that he died attempting to rescue them. Jimeno said to ‘Dominick, he was never going to let anyone forget it. Dominick tried to pull the firearms out of his holster during his last minutes. He aimed it high over our heads towards the hole in the debris. Hopefully, we’d hear from somebody. We’d shout, “PAPD officers down!” He aimed his pistol up into the air and discharged his gun for someone to hear us in the final quarter. He sank and died, then.”
There was no one to come to save Jimeno and McLoughlin on their own. Nobody even knew it was. As the day and afternoon passed, their location deteriorated, and fireballs poured down from above, and Jimeno moved frantically to escape them. The warmth from the flames at one point started the rest of Peluzzo’s weapon. Jimeno said that It took him a second to figure out what it was. These sparkles he would see. Pow! Pow, he could hear. And that’s when he saw that the pistol from Dominick was shooting. Ricochets shot straight over his skull.
Physically and emotionally, Jimeno was in terrible form. Also, Mr. McLoughlin. They talked over the scrap.
The two guys had collaborated but were more or less unknown. They spoke about their family, lives, whatever. It’s been time. They kept going, They always wanted to keep each other going,. If he heard him fading away, he would scream at the sergeant; he would scream at him if he faded away. All he could do was hope, pray, and they did that. At some point, they prayed together. “I will,” I said. “My John,” he said.
Jimeno recalled at one time that he was almost about to give up and die. He praised God for his wife, and he regretted how he missed the birth of his daughter with his daughter Bianca four years ago. He remembered, he shut his eyes and made his peace with God. When he goes to heaven, it’s just a glass of water thathe is going to beg for,’
because he so shriveled and as insane as it seemed, your mind works mysteriously. It all he requested.
Then his determination hardened. He resolved to do it on his own terms if he died that Tuesday. He started digging around him, but it seemed useless. Also He had scraped the concrete with the end of his shackles at one point. He was trying to hammer his own gun with the magazine. “We will get out of this hellhole,” he assured McLoughlin and continued to scream for help.
But they exacerbated their position.
His body, wounded, began to expand, as the injuries to his imprisoned legs caused the pressure to build up in his body.
It took more time. Like the discussion with McLoughlin, his attempts were weaker.
Above, the sunshine started to vanish in the small slit of light. ‘I don’t know whether we’ll be doing this throughout the day. Sergent McLoughlin says,’ You will not be allowed to come in until dawn since you must protect the area and we must stop,” Jimeno remembered.
They heard people crying in the distance after nightfall – no firemen, no policemen, just two U.S. marines.