Edward Fine – the man in the iconic photo of 9/11: A survivor’s story

The man covered his face with a handkerchief, his bag in hand, and walked through the rubble with a look of fear and shock. It was Edward (Ed) Fine, now trudging off Broadway after the World Trade Center (WTC) Twin Towers collapsed.

A reporter took the picture, and Ed became an unforgettable symbol of the most terrifying day in American history: September 11, 2001.

Edward Fine - the man in the iconic photo of the 9/11 tragedy: A survivor's story - Photo 1.

Fateful day

“I don’t know what happened, but the photo has become an icon. The photo editor of a magazine told me it symbolizes the resilience of American businessmen after the disaster.” – Edward recounted in an interview in 2015.

When the Boeing 767 was controlled by terrorists and crashed into the tower (floors 93 – 99), Ed was on the 79th floor of the North Tower. To this day, he still has the suit and bag from that day, and the pass to the Twin Towers.

Edward Fine - the man in the iconic photo of the 9/11 tragedy: A survivor's story - Photo 2.

“A terrible coincidence, that morning I had a job at WTC. We were preparing an investment banking deal, and I booked my son with a company at WTC. But the night before, he She said she was sick and I had to go instead.”

“The morning of September 11 was a beautiful day. I got up very early, entered the building at 7:52 am to go to the meeting point on the 87th floor.”

“I should have died. There were many factors that made it possible for me to die that day. Like how I took the elevator to the 79th floor to change the elevator, but missed the elevator to change to the 87th floor by just a few seconds. “

“If I had made it in time, I probably wouldn’t be here by now.”

“Missed the flight, I had to stand in the lobby of the 79th floor. Only 30 seconds later, I heard a very loud explosion. Glass broke, smoke and fire poured down. The sound of people screaming echoed. I quickly crouched down. for safety. But the fuel from the plane’s engine is all over the place.”

The strange thing is that not everyone is as scared as Ed. He recalls, while panicking to himself “get out of here at once”, he saw a woman wearing a WTC uniform calmly making a phone call.

Edward Fine - the man in the iconic photo of the 9/11 tragedy: A survivor's story - Photo 3.

“I said ‘Hey lady, where’s the exit? We have to run now.’ She simply replied ‘I’m on the phone.'”

“I repeated ‘We must leave immediately. Where is that door?’ Now she looked at me with angry eyes, shouting ‘I’m on the phone. You just wait there.'”

In the end Ed had to find the exit door himself, and began guiding everyone out of the tower.

“There was no one on the ladder at that time. We ran downhill, maybe 24-25 floors without anyone. Then everyone spilled out, and the rate of descent slowed down.”

“Around the 40th floor, a woman brought some wet tissues and handed them out to everyone. I also took one because it was too hot. Now that I think about it, that towel must have saved my life. After wiping my body, I I put it in my pocket and continued running down the endless stairs.”

Ed and hundreds of others continued to run down. Suddenly, they caught sight of the fire brigade running uphill.

“It was on the 20th floor. All the firefighters were wearing their full gear. I wonder how they managed to get them all the way up to the 70’s and 80’s, when I was just holding my bag and running down the street. I want to hold my breath.”

Every journey comes to an end. Ed got to the ground, leaving the building. He was out of breath, and his knees also began to protest. But all of this is just the beginning.

Edward Fine - the man in the iconic photo of the 9/11 tragedy: A survivor's story - Photo 4.

“Relieved, I decided to continue. But after a few steps, there was another loud bang. I turned around and saw the building starting to collapse.”

“I just stood there, overwhelmed by the horror, until someone ran past me and slapped me in the face and yelled ‘RUN’.”

“Why run? I thought so, but I still turned around and ran as fast as I could. But with a protesting knee it’s not very fast, I’m sure.”

“I got to the corner of Broadway, ran in. There was a priest and an emergency specialist. But when I turned around, what was coming was a huge plume of dust and debris, must have been as high as that. several floors.”

“I just had time to think: I’m done, I’m going to die on the street. I’m going to suffocate in this dust. The priest put his hand on my shoulder and prayed…”

Witness history

“Hot dust came over us. Ironic. God saved me from the building, but left me to die here, on Broadway?” Ed continued.

Edward Fine - the man in the iconic photo of the 9/11 tragedy: A survivor's story - Photo 5.

The twin towers collapsed, leaving behind a huge column of smoke and debris

“I held my breath, but suddenly remembered it – a wet towel in my pocket. I pulled it out, covering my nose and mouth. Thanks to it, I could breathe. It really saved my life.”

“Everything was strangely quiet around me. After a while, it seemed like someone was stepping on me. I thought this meant it was safe to get up. But when I opened my eyes, there was something like burning my eyes. Everything is pitch black, only pain is real.”

“I lay like that for another 10 minutes, then tried to open my eyes. This time there was no pain.. Looking around the street, I saw a coffee shop. People were giving water to the victims there. I crawling closer, clothes covered in dust, knees aching horribly.”

Ed lived, was one of the lucky survivors of the most terrible terrorist disaster in American history, killing 2977 people. This miraculous journey has given Ed a new goal and inspiration, going into the business of products for the medical industry.

“There’s a reason God saved me from the Twin Towers. I really believe in that. I hope my products can save as many people as possible in this world.”

“My story is probably very positive. Once you come out of the door of death, you will find that there is nothing in the world that you cannot do. I am glad I got lucky, but also sad for those who cannot. survive.”

Source: Mirror

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