DENTON (CBSDFW.COM) – If you were anywhere near a television set on September 11, 2001, it’s likely you haven’t forgotten the sights and sounds from that terrible day. Ed Nancarrow was working in an office on the 96th floor of the World Trade Center Tower Two that day.
Now 74 and living in Denton, Nancarrow shares what happened to him that day, and why Americans should be mindful of it more than once a year.
“I want to keep this in front of people,” Nancarrow said.
A couple of newspaper clippings and a few news reports on a VHS tapes are about all Ed Nancarrow has kept from 9-11. The rest was etched upon his mind.
“It sounded like an explosion at first and all of a sudden a rumbling sound after that and what it was was the tower that I was in coming down,” Nancarrow said.
Ed Nancarrow was in Tower 2 of the World Trade Center on September 11th when terrorists plowed a hijacked plane into Tower 1.
“Not too long after that, the emergency people in the 2nd World Trade Center said, ‘Everybody out!” Nancarrow told CBS station KYW-TV that day.
Nancarrow recalls saying, “This can’t be happening in this country. Can’t be happening here.”
Nancarrow made it all the way home to Pennsauken, New Jersey, first taking a ferry, then a cab and then a train. The KYW-TV crew saw him walking and asked to interview him. He traded the interview for a ride home.
“God was not finished with me yet,” Nancarrow said.
His wife, Adele, unable to reach him by phone was thrilled to see him walk through the door. Nancarrow was able to spend many more days with her until her death in 2004.
Nancarrow made his break from the east coast then, headed south and settled in Denton, about an hour from his brother. “I do like Texas. I like the people here,” Nancarrow said.
Nancarrow, a former New York State Bank Examiner, is retired now. But anxiety from from 9-11 still dogs him from time to time.
Twice, he’s frozen on the spot. The first time it happened was at his church in New Jersey. Nancarrow was in the choir. “When I got to the stairs, my feet would not move. The steps there had yellow stripes on the edge. Exactly the same stripes they had on the World Trade Center,” Nancarrow said.
He froze again at a Texas polling place. Same yellow stripes, Nancarrow said.
Nancarrow has never returned to the spot where the towers once stood. “There’s not really anything for me to go back for,” Nancarrow said.
On 9-11, his shoes were covered with tower dust. Someone told him to bronze them. Instead, Nancarrow threw them away.
Maybe it’s because Ed Nancarrow doesn’t want people to remember what happened to him so much as he wants people to remember what happened to America.
Ed Nancarrow says he’s going to be speaking at St. Bartholemew Episcopal Church on 9-11 near his hometown back in New Jersey.