Joseph DeAngelis
Worked in WTC Building 4

Carla Arcuri, Maria Rubino

 

Carla: We are going to start with Joe. He is going to start with his history. Joe, talk about where you grew up.

Joe: I grew up in Brooklyn, NY and, um, got married and moved to Marine Park and then from Marine Park, we moved to Staten Island.

Carla: And you have, brothers, sisters?

Joe: I have three sisters, um, all married with kids a lot of nieces and that's that as far as family goes, mom and dad...

Carla: Yea, anything like traumatic that would relate to how you would portray 9/11 that would make you ...you know what I mean... like that would influence the way you looked at 9/11?

Joe: No, not really no, no...that was the most traumatic thing I think thatís ever happened to me; nothing compares to that.

Carla: Nothing right? Let's start with that morning.

Joe: All right, um, well I got up to work, it was a beautiful day. I was taking the train and the ferry at that time. So I went down and got on the train. Uh, I got on the Staten Island ferry went across the water, pulled into the ferry terminal got off and I used to take the train, the N or the R, from there to the Trade Center because I was too lazy to walk and what happened was the train was delayed for some reason we werenít really quite sure what it was and we waited a little while and this may have been a good thing for me that the train was delayed because I might have been actually outside the building walking up into the towers when the planes actually hit. There was a little bit of a delay and, um, I think it was because as it turns out it was because the first plane hit so they had stopped the trains from going in because they were coming in right under the Trade Center uh, so, uh we were delayed. And I remember being aggravated because I wanted to get to work and it was like a good 10, 15 minutes was going by and finally another train pulled in and they said that, uh, they let everybody get on. Then they said, as they started they said, the train was going to bypass Cortland Street which is where I normally would get off. So the next stop was going to be Chambers Street so I get aggravated at that because now I was passing my station--I was going to have to come back and it started getting a little bit late. Um, and then, the train pulls into Chambers Street, I get off the train, I walked upstairs, I saw a crowd of people standing, I turned around and looked at the towers and there were two holes in them. They were already, you know, on fire.

Carla: So when you got there the first tower was hit or the second?

Joe: Well, by the time I got off the train and walked up on Chambers Street up into the street both planes had already hit. I think I missed, I actually calculated that I believe I was pretty much under the building on the N or the R when the second plane actually hit. Yea, because I missed it by, we got to Chambers Street and from what I understand it was just, it was minutes that I missed the second plane actually hitting the building.

Carla: Did you feel it?

Joe: No, no, there was no shaking no, nothing like that at all no. I was actually in the building in í93 when they set the first bomb off in the parking garage. I felt the building shake then.

Carla: You felt it?

Joe: Yes, then I did. Um, but uh, but this day no. I didn't feel anything. We just went right through the station and then went to Chambers Street, I got off and like I said, I came upstairs and I saw both buildings already on fire.

Carla: What was your initial reaction then?

Joe: My initial reaction was what the heck happened? And then somebody had said to me that a couple of planes had hit the building and you know right away, people started getting nervous that they thought that it was on purpose. My initial reaction was okay theyíll put the fires out hopefully theyíll get everybody out of there and I will be back to work tomorrow. Like I said, I didn't work in either of the towers but I worked in Building 4 which is one of the main buildings right there. Um, so that was my initial reaction that okay theyíll put the fire out hopefully get everybody out okay and, um, then you know weíll be back to work tomorrow. Thatís really what I was thinking so I stood on that corner for a little while, um, and then all of a sudden it was a little bit strange because some people started yelling that there was another plane coming in It started getting through the crowd that these were jetliners not private planes that went through the building. So I think by then everybody started realizing that there was definitely an attack that was aimed at the buildings. Um, and somebody started yelling out ďthereís another plane coming inĒ and all of a sudden a whole rush of people just started running from the downtown area to uptown. I mean I didnít run. You know, I was still looking at the buildings, I didn't hear anything so I kind of just stood there and I was far enough away from the building so I felt I was in pretty good shape where I was. Um, and then you know I just tried to get in touch with my wife. I couldn't get through with my cell phone. I saw a friend of mine walking by and his cell phone was working so what I did was, I borrowed his phone. I called her, she had seen everything on TV already and I told her ďI am ok.Ē Her brother called her, he was a cop, and he said ďtell him to start heading uptown to my precinct and tell him to wait there for me.Ē So I started working my way uptown a little bit, I went up to City Hall and I stopped again and that's when I saw, and thatís when I saw the first, uhÖ

Carla: So you saw the tower coming down?

Joe: I saw both towers come down. I saw the first tower come down and then I said you know what I better start heading up a little further, a little further uptown and then I walked a little bit further uptown and then just minutes later and then the second building come down...but yes I saw both buildings actually come down.

Carla: Did you think they were going to fall?

Joe: I didn't think in a million years that the buildings would come down, even though we knew that it was a terrorist attack or you know still felt that I Ö never in a million years did I think that those towers could actually fall down. I just didn't think it was going to happen and then all of the sudden we saw it start to shake and then it just collapsed, you know, the way it collapsed.

Carla: Do you think that it collapsed because of the planes or that it was a controlled demolition?

Joe: No, I think it collapsed because of the planes. From what I understand they said that it was the heat from the flames, from the gas that was in the tanks of the planes that melted the steel that brought actually brought them down. I believe that thatís what happened so I am just glad that they didnít tip over and they just actually collapsed the way they did. That was a godsend.

Carla: So when they fell what did you do? You ran?

Joe: No, I didn't because I was already at City Hall when the first building came down so I was far enough away that I knew I didn't have to worry but I also knew at that point okay itís time to start, itís time to start really heading uptown. So I just, you know, me and thousands of other people, just started walking in that direction because we knew we had to get as far away from downtown because by that time there were cops, fire engines, EMSs all over the place, they were all over the place. So I started heading a little further uptown. I ended up walking up to my brother-in-lawís precinct. I got another maybe ten blocks away and then I turned around and I thatís when I saw the second building, I saw the second one come down.

Carla: Did you think it was a terrorist attack?

Joe: Uh, I really didn't know what to think actually. You know, I wasn't really sure. I donít think I, to be honest with you, I don't think I put terrorist attack with that. You know what Iím saying? I thought it was strange that both buildings were hit, you know? I could understand maybe one plane, something happening, but two? So I thought something was a little bit strange, you know, but I didnít really think terrorist attack right away to be honest with you. Probably an hour later, I probably thought that you know what, somebody flew these planes into these buildings on purpose. And then I remembered that in í93 they tried to take the buildings down and it wasnít a powerful enough explosion to actually do what they really wanted to do and this is how they did it. I didn't start thinking terrorist attack right away. I think I started thinking about probably a good half hour to an hour later is when I started realizing that you know what, somebody did this on purpose and who else could it be? But, you know, terrorists.

Carla: How did you get home that day?

Joe: Well, what I did I ended up going to my brother-in-law's precinct and, um, there was, I went into a squad...he was a detective...I went into a squad room. I was the only one there. He said go up to the front desk, tell them you're my brother-in-law. They will let you stay in the building. I went into the squad room, there was obviously no detectives around, there was nobody in the room so I sat there for about three hours. I went outside a couple of times, I went back upstairs and I said you know what? I don't want to spend the night in the city, I want to go home. So what I did was, this was already now a little bit later in the afternoon. Iím thinking it was probably around 4 oíclock I think when I said you know what? I want to go home now. You know what I mean? I want to be with my family. Now, I was watching the news when I was at the precinct now I know, you know what? I wanted to go home, I wanted to get home, I wanted to be in my own house and I wanted to be with my family. Thatís what I wanted. So, I think about 4 oíclock, I headed back downstairs and I was just standing on the corner I said you know what? I am not staying in the city tonight. I wouldíve ended up sleeping in the precinct. I didn't want that. So I said you know what? Iím going to see if I could start making my way back downtown, see if the ferry is running. So I started walking down and, um, I ran into a cop. He was on the street and he said to me, ďthey just started a shuttle running back downtown again but itís not going to take you all the way down, itís going to take you down to Canal Street and that's where they are terminating all the trains.Ē I said okay, so I will get on the train, Iíll get off at Canal and then Iíll see if I can see start making my way over to the water and Iíll start walking down toward the ferry. So I proceeded to do that. I get off the train, I started walking, I went a little bit cross-town, I got down to the water and then I started making my way down the, uh, not the west side, down the east side along the water, hoping to get a ferry and, um, and I actually ended up getting on the first ferry that, that they let go out again. What happened was they were still running them and then they realized that when the buildings came down they stopped running the ferries. The last boat went out as the cloud of dust was going in that direction. Um, so, it was probably close to five when I probably actually got on the ferry that actually left.

Carla: It was still pretty dusty then right?

Joe: There was dust flying all over the place. As I was walking down, down the, uh, east side the dust was flying I was trying to cover my mouth, you know, the dust was all over the place.

Carla: They were saying the dust was toxic.

Joe: Yes, yea it wasn't good. I knew that, I knew it wasn't good but I also knew that I didn't want to stay; I didnít want to stay in the city that night. I wanted to be home so and, you know what? I think about it, I don't really give that, that much of a thought that all that dust was flying around, but it is something that you really have to be concerned about. You know, because a lot of people are getting sick now but I have no respiratory problems--breathing fine--so you hope that it doesn't ever, you know, come back to haunt me at some point so. ÖUm, so that was really pretty much my day. And you know what I did was, I called her I said I am on the ferry, I am on my way home and then I get off the train and I started walking home from there and then she met me about half way, she gave me a big hug, you know. She was glad I was home. I was glad to be home. And thatís it, itís about seven o'clock actually by the time I got home.

Carla: Wow! That took a long time.

Joe: Yea, it took a long time so I was in the city the whole day. You know, but it was pretty devastating actually. And you know then I, of course, started worrying about my job. You know what I mean because I worked on the commodities floor and, uh, we were worried about when we were going to be able to get back to work. Because you really canít keep the markets closed for an extended period of time. Um, and then it happened on a Tuesday. By Monday we were in our backup facility which is in Long Island City, Queens. We went there on Saturday to do a test run and started working from there. We were there for 2 years and then we moved back downtown.

Carla: So you moved back downtown?

Joe: We moved back downtown. We are at 1 Northern Ave. Which is, uh, the Mercantile Building, which is right on the water, Battery Park City basically right on the water. So that's where we ended up moving back into.

Carla: So, now that you know that it was a terrorist attack, do you feel that America is not what it's put up to be, like we are on a plateau? Do you feel that we were untouchable and that we were unprepared for it?

Joe: Um, I never felt like we were untouchable. I always felt like they did it once you know and until this day I don't feel like we are untouchable, I am just waiting for the other shoe to drop. It's just a matter, is it in Manhattan, is it in Boston, is it in L.A.? Something else is going to happen it's just a matter of where and when it's going to happen. I don't think you can protect against all of these things. You know what I mean? I just don't think you can. You know I think we were doing the best we could to try to prevent it, the security at the exchange, I thought was pretty good. I didn't think it was great, it's much better now than it used to be and we actually have guys with guns standing at the front doors now. So I feel like, you know, if they see somebody with a video camera they go right over to them and they confiscate tapes and you know they are taking those measures. You know, but you know. Were we prepared for that? No, we werenít prepared. Were we trying to prevent things like that? I think we were probably trying to prevent it. I just think it was too much for us, you know. You can't watch everything all of the time. You just can't.

Carla: Do you think if the operators, the fire department operators and the plane operators should have been trained in a different way, maybe so that they can handle this more efficiently? Like the government agencies should have worked together, like they should be more prepared for things like that?

Joe: Well, I think they probably thought they were at the time working as well together as they probably could have been. Obviously now, I guess everything goes through Homeland Security. So everything is a little bit, a little more together. Which obviously is better than it was. But you know there are a lot of agencies involved. And I do feel that you what? Maybe this agency was doing something and that one didn't know that they were doing it, so maybe if they had been working together better at the time, like they are now, maybe they could have prevented that. But like I said, I think that these terrorists are going to do at some point what they want when they want and they are going to do it and they will wait forever. If they have to wait another 20 years to do it they will wait another 20 years. They have all the time in the world, they are in no rush, they will take their time to do the next whatever it is they are going to do to us. And I feel that that is actually the case, I think that something else will happen. I hate to say that and I hate to feel like that, but I do feel that way and I hope that we can prevent things that, you know what? I think they are preventing things from happening now. They might be minor things--weíre just not knowing about it. And you know what? I don't think we need to know everything. I don't need to know that they planned on blowing the subway up and they stopped them hours before it was going to happen. You know what I am saying? Just take the security measures, make sure you're watching things. Another thing I am very happy about--security cameras. As far as I am concerned, I don't care who is watching me. If I am not doing anything wrong, they can have security cameras all over the place for all I care. Let them, let surveillance keep an eye the people they need to keep an eye on, that's how I feel about that; because I was involved in this. You know? I need to know that someone is watching these people, that's how I feel and if people are offended by the surveillance cameras I really don't care.

Carla: So, you don't feel like it's an invasion of privacy?

Joe: No, I don't.

Carla: Like if they go through your bags on the subway they have the right?

Joe: Go through the bag I don't care because if I am on that subway and somebody's got a bomb on that subway, I want to know that somebody stopped them from getting on that subway. That's how I feel.

Carla: So you think they should do that? Like, would you mind if you were taking a plane and it took you an extra hour and half maybe to get on the plane if they were literally checking everyone's bag because you know they don't check that now. They only check the people that look suspicious. Would you mind that?

Joe: No, I wouldn't. I would leave for the airport four hours early if I know that everybody's bag is going to get checked and when I am on that plane itís not going to explode in midair. That's how I feel. I kind of always felt like that ever since this happened. You know what? If somebody's feelings are hurt or offended or they feel like they have been wronged, that doesn't really bother me. I don't really care, because you know, it's just the way I feel. People that experienced what happened on 9/11 and another problem I have, people that live here in New York, they know what it was really like. You know, I walk past that hole everyday from my building to the bus stop. I see people there taking pictures that are out-of-towners and theyíre tourists and I don't have a problem with that. You can take your pictures but I hope they really know what is was like that day and then, if they are going to put their political two-sense in and say we should be doing this or we shouldn't be doing that, they should have been here that day because it was an experience that Iíll never forget. And it was an experience, that I have family that were in the buildings when it happened and thank God that they all got out okay. I worked with a guy whose sister died in Cantor Fitzgerald. His sister–missing. They never found anything of her. Never. They found her telephone book on the street. And the guy Sean that I worked with, his sister got a phone call from the woman that found the address book. Now they had to turn the address book in to whoever was keeping the property. And then they were able to get it back, after a period of time they were able to get it back. Because they wanted to keep everything they wanted to check everything out and they had to do all of that stuff. Um, but as far as my feelings being hurt like my civil rights are being violated, not at all. Check every bag as far as I am concerned. Thatís how I feel. Check every baby carriage. Every bag. You got to frisk somebody you think their suspicious? You see something you donít think should be there? Then do it. Thatís just how I feel. It is what it is.

Carla: How do you feel about the conspiracy theories? Like how for example, they say that no Israelis were in the building that day.

Joe: Yea, there were. You know what? I don't know how really true that is. You know I guess they say that, that is the case but you know something? I don't know, did somebody give them the heads up from somewhere? I don't really know, Iím not sure, Iím not sure if someone gave them the heads up or not. But yea, I found that to be a little bit strange that there were a lot of Israeli people not there that day supposedly. I found a little bit odd but I donít believe all this conspiracy. I don't think it was. I don't really believe that somebody in Israel knew that something was going to happen and they told--they got it out to their leaders and their leaders said don't go to work on this day, something bad is going to happen. This week something not good is going to happen at the World Trade Center. I don't believe that.

Carla: How about the one on, how itís 911, 9.1.1.? Do you think that was a coincidence? Did they plan that?

Joe: Uh, I think that could have been planned. I think that could have been planned that, that was the day they were going to do it. Now you got to remember, everything had to break right also that day, the weather had to be nice, there had to be no delays on the planes because they wanted to do this at a certain time of the day and that was the time they wanted to do it. Sadly enough, if they would have waited an hour they probably would have killed another 2,000 people because people were still getting to work when it happened.

Carla: Yes, because as New Yorkers we go to work at 9:30-10:00 am.

Joe: Right. Exactly but, uh, yea thatís you know.

Carla: Thereís two other conspiracy theories. Let it happen, like the government let it happen on purpose, or made they made it happen on purpose?

Joe: Our government? Carla: Yes.

Joe: No. I don't buy into the Charlie Sheen way of thinking. He just came out and said that. He feels that--whatever he said--but I didn't agree with the fact that he thought that the government did this. You know what I am saying? No, I donít believe that at all.

Carla: Do you think that we knew about it? That we had an inkling that it was coming?

Joe: You know I think maybe they had an idea that something was going to happen but I don't think they had any specifics. You know, you know what? They get threats all the time. They get threats probably every day. I am sure the President looks at a list of threats: this could happen, this could happen, this could happen. You canít prevent it all. There is not enough security, there is not enough cops, there is not enough firemen, there is not enough emergency service people to prevent everything they we have to prevent. You know? I just, you know, so no I donít think, I donít think, like I said, maybe they had some kind of a thing, something that came to them that said you know sometime this week we think something could happen. We hear some chatter on this or on the web, we hear that you know somethingís going on. Did they have any specifics? No, I don't think so. I don't think they did.

Carla: How about Bush? Do you feel that he could of, that he did a good job after the fact?

Joe: I thought he did a great job immediately after the fact, I thought he did a great job. I thought our cops, our firemen, I thought they all did a great job. Obviously, you know the day of, then obviously following the days after, the construction guys I thought they did a great job. And, uh, I thought Bush did a fantastic job trying to keep the country together in light of the disaster that had just hit and I do feel that a lot of people really, like I said, if you were not living here and you're an outsider I don't really know, I donít think they really can realize the devastation that we went through that day. You know if youíre living in Iowa or you know some place like that, you canít feel how we felt that day. And I know most of the people felt the same way that I felt that day but today feel differently about it. Honestly I still feel that way, I felt that he did a great job, um, and you know, I don't know how another president would have handled it. You know other than how he handled it. He came to the city you know. I thought his support was tremendous at the time and you know I am a supporter though so, so you know. But like I said I was through this. You know what I mean and I think a lot of people that were not though this, you know, they differ with opinion with him and, um, that's okay they are allowed to have their difference of opinion but a lot of people that went through this I think, you know. Whether they are liberal, democrat, or conservative I feel some of them still feel that it happened. We did what we had to do and then, you know, we did the best we could in trying to clear out afterwards, you know, a short time after that all happened.

Carla: Do you feel that your wife has the same opinion as you?

Joe: Um, I think she does, yes. I think its probably because of, well first of all she is also a conservative republican as well. So, um, yea I think we have the same opinion.

Carla: The same likeÖHow about retaliation? The war?

Joe: Um, well...I mean you know what? I was completely and totally all for it but today I would like to see things turn around. I would like to see us get our guys out of there. You know, listen do I think Saddam Hussein at some point would of had weapons of mass destruction if he didn't have them? Yes, do I think he would have used them on us? Yes, I think he would of so maybe, you know, we prevented that maybe we actually said, you know what? Before he can do anything letís try to put a stop to it now. So thatís why I feel that you know what? You want to go in there, you went in there, okay fine but I do also feel that now we have to come to some kind of conclusion. And we need some kind of an exit plan. I do believe that we may have went in there a little bit, a little quickly and without an exit plan. That I am a little bit upset about but once you start something I feel it needs to be finished because I feel that we canít just cut and run now. Because if we do that, I feel that all those people we helped out there they are going to say that we left them high and dry and you know what, maybe we turned those people into terrorists. And that's more problems for us down the road. So but I think itís time for us to try and start to get out of Iraq. I do.

Carla: Do you think that we went there for the right reasons? Do you think we went there for oil?

Joe: No, I don't we went there for oil at all. I believe that, they believe he had weapons of mass destruction. I believe that they had weapons. I think we gave them enough time to clear out whatever they had there. Where it went I don't know I believe it crossed the border someplace. Pakistan wherever it went I believe there were weapons there and they are gone. There are not really much signs of it. But I do believe that they were there and like I said before I think if had to chance to use them against us or against Israel that he probably would have done that at some point. I am more worried about us here in the Unites States. I mean you know what? We are very good allies, we are very good friends with the Israelis but I also feel that, you know what? I got to worry about me and my family. I am not really worried Israel right now, you know? I also feel that we need to protect our own borders you know, and maybe not worry so much... I know that we are big brother and we really have to take care of the whole world which is what we do but, um, I also feel that, you know something, we need to make sure we are protecting ourselves at home. And you know, I am hoping that after we get out of Iraq that we can use some of our servicemen and some of our reservists to, you know, to police our own area, you know? Police New York, police California, police Boston, you know use these guys. You know what? When I am walking around downtown and at my building I see a swat team getting out of their truck, I don't care at all. You know something, let them walk around.

Carla: Does that frighten you?

Joe: It doesnít frighten me. You know why that doesn't frighten me? Because I know they are there for a reason. They are there to protect to us. Do I think, I wonder if they know something? Yes, that does run through my mind but I would rather have them there than not have them there. That's how I feel. So I think we should protect our own. I think we should protect our own states. I think we should, yes.

Carla: Do you think because we are a big brother that has a negative effect on us?

Joe: Um, well yea, obviously, you know, there are some people in the world that think that we, uh, you know we think who we are you know, but you know what? When you believe what we believe in and that's freedom for everybody, I guess you feel that you need to try to help some people out that you know, that you need to help out and you know something? A lot times when a lot of these countries are in trouble, who do they come running to? They come running to us, so as far as thatís concerned, you know, you want our help, then come and ask for our help. But when we go and do something, you know, try to support that as well you know that how I feel that you know they ...whenever thereís problems anywhere, everybody comes running to America to help out you know itís not, the U.N. is the U.N. but really itís us that they are coming to for help. And, we try to help out as many people as we can you know and you know at some point you got to say, you have to say, you have to stand up for yourselves. I think and we have to protect our own interests here I mean we have many interests abroad as well. We have a lot of businesses and we have a lot of things going on all over the world that we need to protect and that's how I understand that. So...

Carla: Letís talk about...how do you feel about 9/11 now? Like your thoughts on it today?

Joe: Um... it still upsets me a great deal because I walk by that hole everyday and, you know, itís something you canít forget. I literally walk right by there everyday. I get off the bus in the morning right next to it and then to get to my bus stop going home, I have to walk the whole length of it. And all I see is a big ramp going to a big hole, with some concrete still standing. That's all I see so I could never forget it and I still feel the same way about it today as I did the day it happened. I still feel about it the same way.

Carla: How about the whole planning of the Freedom Tower? Are you happy with the way they have it designed now or would you rather have the two towers?

Joe: To be honest with you, I don't really know. Let me put it to you this way, if I was going for a job interview and it was up on the 100th floor I wouldn't take the job.

Carla: You wouldnít take it?

Joe: No.

Carla: So even if they did rebuild the two towers you know...

Joe: I am not working any higher than the 20th floor. You know that's how I feel. You know what I mean? Listen, it could happen again. You know after these buildings are built ten years from now, 15 years, twenty years from now, they could do it again you know? So no, I am not working up there.

Carla: You won't work there?

Joe: No I am not working any higher.

Carla: What about the new building that they just built?

Joe: That's building 7, they just rebuilt. Actually I pass by there everyday too. And uh it looks beautiful you know I donít really know....itís pretty tall.

Carla: Itís very tall.

Joe: What is it 50 floors or something or is it more than that?

Carla: I think itís more than that.

Joe: Okay so itís pretty tall. But again I am not going to work up on any high building. I am not going to work any higher than you know the 20th floorÖ So I can run downstairs if I have to. Um, so but you know what? I think for a long time I felt that there is enough building space downtown that I don't really even know if they need to put more buildings.

Carla: So do you think they should leave it as a memorial?

Joe: I think it should be not, I mean, not a memorial. You know what I think? I think it should become a big beautiful park...and have a memorial within that park because there is more than enough buildings in the area downtown to support all the business. I think itís going to be, I think itís going to be very hard for a company to rent space in a building on the hundredth floor and then employ 200 people up there. You know I mean because you know what? If it was me and I had a job there? Everyday I would be worried about going up that elevator and not being able to get back down. So buildings are not I would rather see a big beautiful park with a nice memorial somewhere in the center of it...yea

Carla: No towers...?

Joe: Nah, I could have done without the towers.

Carla: You wouldn't feel safe?

Joe: Uh, not if I was working in there...and again I am working right across the street so what if they do, do this again? And what if this time, the building doesnít collapse this way? It collapses over its side and it hits my building you know? So you know? We have plenty of tall buildings in Manhattan; I don't think we need another one. You know? Maybe some small buildings around it with a memorial park you couldíve called those the World Trade Centers you know, 1,2,3,4 whatever you wanted to do with those I think you could have done that...but to have another big tower...I know what we are trying to do, we are back, we are bigger, weíre better than ever, I understand the whole reasoning behind it, but I don't really feel like itís necessary...no I would love to be able to leave my building and walk through a beautiful park and get to my bus stopÖ I would be very happy doing that.

Carla: Do think if you lost like a relative in there that you would feel differently?

Joe: Um, well because I didn't I don't really know how to answer that but I don't think that I would feel differently. I think that I feel that, I would still feel that we don't need another tall building there...You know itís going to make our skyline prettier again, to make another building there butÖ

(Switch tape)

Carla: Side 2

Carla: We went through everything. How do feel about United 93, the movie?

Joe: Uh, well I didn't see it. I would love to see it. We are probably going see it at some point. I have heard some really good things about it, you know. I know there was some political fallout about how some people didn't want the movie to come out. Believe it or not, which I donít understand, some of the people felt that um, um, I guess politically that I hate to say it this way, but they didnít want to see that there was a good side to that ...you know what I mean? If the movie is true...and the people did what they are saying they did, I think it's a tremendous thing and you know if that was somebody in my family, if that was me I would be a proud, proud as could be ...saying that you know what? I didn't let this plane hit another building...it took the building down... uh, and I think some people have a problem with that fact. That, you know, that itís shedding some good light and is also bringing a lot of the memories back from 9/11 which I think some of the politicians specifically liberals and democrats aren't crazy about because I think they feel that theyíre using the war in Iraq now to, you know, against the president of this administration and they don't want to see this movie come out right now because they feel like, you know, they have a lot of pressure on the administration because things aren't really going so great right now for him, you know, in that administration. So I think they felt that they had to keep pressure on that with this ...but you know something thereís a lot of goods things coming out about this movie that I hear and I think that's bothering some people.

Carla: Because do you think that it shouldn't be used for entertainment?

Joe: Yea in other words you know what? And that's why I like the fact that he didn't use any stars, nobody famous is in the movie, he used regular actors but you know regular nobody famous and I like that, that he did that. You know what, I am not doing this to make money Iím doing this to show everybody (he is going to make tons of money) Iím doing this to show what we think really happened on that flight that day.

Carla: So it wasnít just a stunt to make that movie?

Joe: No, I donít think so.

Carla: The Fahrenheit 9/11, did you ever see it?

Joe: No, I didnít see it, didnít see it. No, didnít want to see it.

Carla: The other movie Loose Change, did you ever hear of that?

Joe: No, I didnít, no.

Carla: Another conspiracy theory thing, I am big on those conspiracy...

Joe: I am not a big Michael Moore fan. So thatís why I wouldnít see the movie. You know? Thatís just how I feel.

Carla: Yea.

Carla: While you were downtown and the buildings were coming down, did you see, like, how they say people were coming out of the building? Or you were too far away?

Joe: I was too far away to see that. I didn't see anybody jump.

Carla: You didnít see anyone jump.

No, no I had already started my way, like I said, I started out at Chamber Street, then I worked my way up to City Hall and it was a little too far away to see that. You know what, to be honest with you, I don't remember seeing people hanging out windows. I don't remember any of that you know, I don't remember seeing that anyway. I think if I were to see somebody standing up in a window, you know? Looking to jump, I think I would have remembered that. But you know I know plenty of the guys that actually heard bodies you know landing on the roofs and stuff like that, yea, yea.

Carla: I think it's just funny how on the memorial of it, how it says like the heroes, you know, youíve been there like how they have all the names. Do you feel that they should have something else besides the names, like you know, like a little brief detail of where they worked the floor that they were on, like a little bit of history instead of just the names just to share a little more remembrance of them?

Joe: Um, I don't know. I guess how much room are they going to take with that, you know, what I am saying, it probably would have been nice but I guess the 3000 names they have up there is you knowÖ

Carla: Sufficient.

Joe: Yea, I think it is.

Carla: Yea. So do you think that if Bush were to run again that he would win?

Joe: Um, if youíre asking that right now Iíd say probably not. Well, because of I think everything thatís happened. You know, I think the war has been a real downer for him. Honestly the economy I think is booming. I mean. I think, I think you know, people are spending more money now than I think they have in years and years and years, um, but that seems to be neglected in the media because the liberal media doesn't really want to shed any good light on things I am talking about newspapers, radio, TV, it doesn't really matter. All they are talking about is the war, the war, the war, the war... and you know what to be honest with you, I mean I work on the commodities floor, the markets are thriving right now, you know, and people are spending more money now even with the gas prices we have you we got people that are buying trucks and you know and you know what nobody seems to be cutting back so they are either going into huge debt or they are making money so...

Carla: Do you think that Bush should have retaliated the next day? Or it was better off that he waited?

Joe: No, I think he had to wait, I think he had to wait a little while because you know what? I guess you really didn't, you know, you have to put some kind of plan together, you know. Um, would I have liked to see him get Bin Laden? Yea, I would have liked to have seen that. Do I think we are ever going to get him? Maybe some day down the road before he dies he will pop his head out of some cave somewhere where he is hiding and we might get him but, uh, you know...and you know what, we had to, we went looking for him... you know what, a guy like that he doesn't need to live in the lap of luxury you know his principles are his principlesÖ

Carla: Heís happy now.

Joe: His principles are his principles. He is you know, he accomplished what he wanted to accomplish and heís not done. Theyíre still planning, theyíre still planning, you know theyíre still planning you know, um, like they say heís sickly, you know, maybe weíll find out that he died one day he is going to die a martyr anyway so itís not going to really matter whether we get him or whenever he's just dies, you know, heís a hero to a lot of people. I donít understand that but it is what it is.

Carla: So you think that we will get hit again?

Joe: Um, I am sorry to say that but I do think at some point we will probably get some kind of another major attack.

Carla: Do you think New York?

Joe: Uh, I pray to God everyday that itís not going to be in New York and I feel terrible about that because I don't really want to see that happen anywhere but I went through two bombings 93 and then 9/11, I don't want to go through another one. I don't want to go through a gas problem or, you know, I donít want to go through any chemical, any problems like that, you know, I just don't want to do it. It may sound terrible but I hope next time they do it they do it somewhere else.

Carla: Did you feel like when you would see like an Iraqi on the street, like threatened or did you want to like do you feel like anger towards them?

Joe: Um...I think maybe early on when I saw, like you know, Arabs I think it kind of probably upset me a little bit but uh, you know, you never really know. You never know whoís your enemy, whoís your friend you know what I mean? You know what I got people living right next door to me that could be terrorists for all I know.

Carly: How do you know?

Jo: You know what? You don't have to be an Arab. You donít have to be. You can be a white-blooded American and then all of the sudden you start reading the Quran and it says you know what? I am not liking the things why are they doing this to us? Why is the United States doing this to us in Iraq and Afghanistan? Why do they feel like they can control the world? You know ...and weíve seen it we have seen Americans turn Muslim that have been arrested, you know for you know, conspiring to do things so. But early on yea I wasn't really thrilled about any Arabs I saw in the neighborhood, downtown Manhattan, you know, in the gas stations. And uh, I feel like you know, weí re getting these guys rich and who knows if theyíre terrorists or not every time I go fill my tank up you knowÖ

Carla: Yea, thereíre making money off of it.

Joe: The guy at the counters for the most part there letís face it theyíre Arabs. You know so uh Iím not crazy about it. But you know what there is no way of me knowing if they are terrorists or not. I am just more aware now than I have ever been before. More aware.

Carla: Ever since 9/11.

Joe: Ever since 9/11.

Carla: So you think that affected your whole outlook on life?

Joe: Um...I still try to live life, you know, letís say to the fullest and I try to have fun, you know. But in the back of my mind I am very aware of everything thatís going, every day going into my building, I say a quick prayer to God to keep me safe in that building me, my friends and my co-workers, everyday going up that escalator I say it every single day. I say a little amen at the end. And everyday I walk out of there and Iím happy to be out of the building. And every day I walk in, I don't take the elevators.

Carla: No?

Joe: No. Iíve been in that building now for a few years. We moved there 11, 9/11, 01-2003, we moved there I think in October of 03.If Iíve been on the elevators ten times itís a lot, because if I can take an escalator someplace and not chance getting stuck on that elevator God if something happens why should I bother? I see guys taking the elevators all the time. I say to myself why are they taking the elevator? I don't understand it. So yea, I am very aware of whatís going on.

Carla: Youíre more aware now than then?

Joe: Yea, absolutely! If I don't have to get on the elevator in that building, I don't get on it. I take the escalator. If I have to walk a floor, I will walk it. Thatís what Iíll do. So Iím aware.

Carla: Just so youíre aware. Like even with the subways and the trains do you feel that they are safe?

Joe: Well, you know, luckily I don't really have to get on the subway that often because now I take the express bus back and forth to the city, um, but when I do have to my office actually. The exchange is at One Northern Avenue, but my office is at 257 Park Avenue South, once a month I have to get on the train to go there for meetings and stuff...um and when Iím on the train I am not really too happy about being on the train, you know, my wife goes into the city to get a haircut I worry about her being in the city and my daughter takes the express bus in but I worry about her being in the city. She works for Deutsch Bank and I worry about her building. You know I worry about.

Carla: My friendís father works at Deutsch Bank.

Joe: Okay, yea, yea. Um, but very aware of my surroundings more now than I ever have been. Do I feel like weíre letting our guard down a little bit? Yes, I do. Um, personally, Iíll donít think Iím letting my guard down because again I was there and you just have to very aware of everything thatís going on. You have to be aware of everything and if you see something thatís suspicious, go to a cop. I actually was walking to my building one day, I saw a um, uh, I saw a driver of one of these Lincolns, you know, they chauffeur people around, you know, he gets out of his car with his video camera. And I see him videotaping, you know, the whole area, my building, the Meryl Lynch building, right where the Trade Center was and actually on the water though. I went right up to the security guard and said, is that guy supposed to be filming these buildings? He said absolutely not. He went right over to him and says you cannot film that, turn it off right now. He made him turn it off and I felt better because you know something, you donít know what theyíre filming for. I remember one day I was walking to the building I saw these two Arab guys one standing there another one standing in front of my building and they got the video camera going, you know, and security went over and grabbed them. You know you canít film here.

Carla: Do feel if they were white that security wouldnít go over to them?

Joe: There is no videotaping in our surrounding area are at all. You take out your camera or your videotape the security comes right over to you and tells you, you canít videotape here.

Carla: Do you think ...because I remember right after 9/11 security was tight. Do you think we let our guard down?

Joe: I think we let our guard down a little bit. I mean, you know, considering what it used to be at the Verrazano Bridge, now thereís nothing. You know when we get a heightened alert then all of a sudden they have a couple of reservists standing there with their machine guns, or whatever they have, and even the Port Authority cops are a little bit more alert and there will be a check point. But you know something, you canít pull every car over, you canít check every car, you canít check every truck, you canít check every bus. You just canít do it. At the Battery Tunnel now what they do is they have a checkpoint. All the trucks and vans have to go through one lane. They look at every one of them, which I think is great, you know, but whoís to say that a car is not loaded with explosives in their trunk. You canít check everything though. Weíre never going to be able to check everything. Weíre never going to be able to check everything. That's why I feel that at some point something else is going to happen.

Carla: Yea, we canít be everywhere.

Joe: We canít be everywhere? That's why I don't mind the surveillance cameras.

Carla: Yea, because they can be everywhere.

Joe: Because if somebody is looking, if somebody is looking at you. I know a lot of people are offended by that but I am not offended by it, Iím not. Because you know something, if I am not doing anything wrong I don't care if you look at me and see what I am doing. If youíre doing something wrong then you are going to be seen doing it wrong and, you know what, you deserved to get pinched. You deserve to get in trouble.

Carla: Do you think that theyíre effective?

Joe: I think they are effective. I do think theyíre effective.

Carla: Do you think people are more cautious?

Joe: I think theyíre a lot more cautious. You know letís face it, every couple of days youíll see something going on TV on the news that this guy was busted because of the surveillance camera. This guy beat this homeless man up but they caught him on videotape with the surveillance camera. You know what, why not because those thugs wouldnít get caught if it wasn't for those surveillance cameras. And you know something, I want to know how somebody would feel that if it were somebody in their own family that got busted over the head by a baseball bat by some punk walking around and then didn't get caught for doing it. If itís going to deter people even a little bit then Iím for it.

Carla: Do you think if we had as much security as we have now during 9/11 that it would have affected it in any way? Positively in any way?

Joe: Um...

Carla: Like for instance with the training of the pilots. How we trained them in Florida?

Joe: Well I think, yea, I think obviously, yea probably. You know, I think now itís probably safer now than it was. If they were doing this now, what they were doing back then, yea, probably because I think they would have been doing a lot more background checks and it wouldn't of been so easy to get your pilots license, to learn how to fly the plane. You know if you have a clean background, you have a clean background. So youíre going to learn how to fly a plane so if you chose to fly into a building in two years from now thatís your choice.

Carla: Do you think that we should have different immigration laws?

Joe: Um...yea, I think we probably let too many people in you know. That does bother me; that goes back to what I said before about us policing our own borders. You know what, everybody is coming here and they are all making money but theyíre not paying taxes like I am. I pay a lot of taxes, a ton of taxes I pay. And you know something, I know a lot of people that are working that arenít legal that are making a lot of money and they are getting all of the benefits that I get except they donít have to pay the taxes. You know, I also know people that employ people that have illegals working for them, you know, so Iím not really quite sure about how they feel about it. Other than the fact that you know what, youíre not paying social security for your workers you know so but as far as, you know, I think we need to close our borders now a little bit. You know, we canít keep letting these people into our country. You know, I just think itís very dangerous. I just think itís dangerous for the security of the nation. I think itís dangerous that you know, weíre letting these people get in a little at a time. You know what I mean and I know a lot of this stuff is going on right now, the protesting and everything like that. You know, you know what? They want to be legal, make them legal.

Carla: Make them legal, and make them pay.

Joe: Make them legal, make them pay and then try not to let anybody else in illegally, you know, make them legal and make them pay. Because I am paying for these people to live every time they go to a primary care, every time they walk into a clinic, every time they walk into an emergency room, where are they getting the money from? Theyíre getting it from my taxes. So you know, I feel that if they are here make them legal, make their companies pay their social security on them and make them pay their taxes. You know what? How I feel about it? They start paying taxes on the money theyíre making, you see how many of them are going back home. Because now they don't want to give the government the money. They want to work here and make the money but they don't want to give...You know what? Maybe there are some that do though because you know what? All these people are protesting right now, if they realize that if they get legalized theyíre going to have to start paying taxes, so you know what? Listen, do I feel like this is the best country in the world? Yes, I do feel like that. And even living in New York, I wouldn't want to live anywhere else even after Ď93 and 9/11 this is where I live. I am proud to be here and you know something, I wouldn't change it for the world. I am very happy, my familyís happy and I am very happy being in New York.


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