Editor’s Note: Many times we walk past giants and never see them. Such is the case with William Jimeno of New Jersey, one of only two men found alive after the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center (WTC) on September 11, 2001. As a first responder, he put his life on the line for others who didn’t survive. This Mossy Oak Pro Staffer and avid deer hunter has a story to tell that we all need to hear, remember and then draw courage from what happened. (See Part 1).
I yelled back to my Sergeant, “Sarge, we’re going to get out of this hellhole; we’re not going to let the terrorists win!” I also realized at that moment that if I died, then there was no hope for my sergeant who was 15-feet behind me. I was the only person who could yell for help for both of us. I also knew I would have let down my family, and more importantly, I would have given up on my country and let the terrorists win. At that point, Sgt. McLoughlin and I began to talk about our families and anything else to get away from the pain we were enduring. I was swollen up and looked like the Michelin man from the tire commercial, only 10 times bigger. I tried to find any of the equipment I had on when the tower came down. I couldn’t locate my handcuffs, but I found my pistol. I realized that I couldn’t use my pistol, because I’d taken out the magazine with my bullets in it, so I wouldn’t be able to fire my weapon without thinking first. I used my pistol like a hammer to break the concrete and attempt to free myself. But then after putting it down, I couldn’t find my pistol again. About 7:00 pm on 9/11, our hole where Sgt. McLoughlin and I were became dark as night fell over what had been the Twin Towers of the WTC.