Stanley Praimnath talks about his experience during the events of September 11, 2001.
My name is Stanley Praimnath. I live in Valley Stream in Long Island. I worked at the Fuji Bank, Limited on the 81st first floor. I ran the operation there, the loan operation department for Fuji Bank.
On 9/11, I was on the 81st floor. The phone rang. My mother called me. Are you OK?
My brothers took turns in calling me-- Paul, Steve, Bill. It's not 9 o'clock, and they all showed me love here. Something is not right.
Hung up the phone. The first building was hit. Didn't have a clue what it was. The young lady who was working with me, Deli Seriano, we were watching towards the North building, and what we saw was huge fireballs coming down. She got scared, and said, let's get out of here.
We walked down to the elevator, took the local elevator. And now, we were in the 78th floor, the sky lobby. Went all the way downstairs, and I was about to exit that building through the turnstile.
And the security guard looks at me and says, where are you going? I said, well, I saw fireballs coming down from the first building. Something is not right. He says, no, your building is safe. It's secure. Go back to your office.
The young lady who was with me looked scared and says, Stan, can I go home? I said, well, you can take the rest of the day off. The other fellows who were with me from my office says, Stan, how can you do this at a time like this? No, I'm running the operation and she is going home. First time I spoke back to my bosses, didn't know why, but it was probably the best thing I ever did.
And I went back to the office. One man walked out in front of me. This man had forgotten his laptop. He was out of a job for about six months, and my boss took compassion on him, hired him as a consultant. He walks into the men's room, and I never saw that man again. What do you tell this family who calls you up, did you see my loved one?
But I walked back into my office, and the phone rang. And this young lady is calling me again, Stan, get out, we don't have time. She worked at one of our rep offices in Chicago. Stan, please, please, Stan.
She had visited my office the week before. She bought me a box of candies. And she she's telling me, Stan, we don't have time, please get out. And while assuring her I'm fine, I just happened to raise my head, I'm looking towards the direction of the Statue of Liberty, no particular direction, and something caught my eyes.
First, it's small. And by the split seconds, it's getting larger and larger, green color. And as this plane got closer to me, I can see U on the tail. This plane is bearing down towards me, eye level eye contact.
As it's getting closer, I can hear that revving sound that the engine is making. And all I had time to do was to drop the phone. And I screamed and I said, Lord, I can't do this, you take over. And I dove under my desk.
And the last split second, I can remember the plane starts to tilt, so that the span of the wings would cover a larger dimension, and were the most thunderous sounds I heard, bam! The plane crashed into the building. It looks like somebody took a giant bag of cement and threw it in the air. And the air got thick, I can hardly see.
Even though there's fire all around me, I'm scared, and the only desk that I'm hiding under stood firm. My Bible was on top of that desk. Upon impact, the floor above me dropped and was hanging just above the desk. Everything else is broken up like matchsticks.
The air pressure was so great I'm scared I'll get soaked out. The sprinkler system came on. And all the cables that are hanging in the ceiling dropped. And they're short-circuiting. One way or the other, I'm dead. If I don't get sucked out, I'll get burned to death, or the floor is going to come crashing down, or I'm going to get electrocuted.
And I'm screaming out to this invisible God that I've heard so much about, Lord, I don't want to die. Please send somebody, anybody, to help me. And at the far end of that floor, somebody heard that cry.
But when I asked God, he intervened on my behalf. And in his loving mercies, he sent my guardian angel Brian with a flashlight on the other end of the floor. And he was shining it all around.
And I started to crawl. And even though I'm crying out, wait for me and this man is here, I couldn't hear, because I get temporarily deaf. And I started to crawl. I crawled the entire length of the loans department to the lounge into the computer room and the communication room, and that's the farthest that I could have gotten. One wall stood firm.
And I got up, and I looked at his wall, and it didn't possess a challenge anymore. And I made a fist as tightly as I could. And I punched with all my strength. And my hand just went right through.
And Brian grabbed my fist. He said, I see your hand. I said, when you see my head, you yank my body through. The hole got bigger, I stuck my head. Brian gave me a headlock. And with such force, he pulled. And I squirm.
It was like a deadlock this man gave me around the neck and the arm, one fluid motion, and he just grabbed. And he pulled, and I squirm. And I went through with such force I just fell on top of him.
And I don't know how to thank a man who just saved my life. I grabbed him, hugged him and gave him a kiss. He says, whoa, whoa, whoa, what are you doing? He got up all composed, straightened his jacket and everything. He says, Brian Clark. And I said Stanley Praimnath.
Very gently, he held my hands. And he looked at this concussion that I had here in this swollen palm. And in a day and a time when people were scared of blood, he touched my hands very gently and stared me in the eyes.
He said, all my life, I live as an only child. I was born and raised in Canada. I always wanted a brother, and I find that person today.
And this good man put his hand around my shoulder and says, come on, buddy, let's go home. In his left palm, there was a gash. He took my right hand in his left, looked me in the eyes and says, from today, you're my blood brother. And we started a long journey home.
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