DAYTON, Tenn. (WDEF) – On a sunny Tuesday morning 19 years ago, terrorists turned commercial airlines into weapons of mass destruction-taking nearly 3,000 lives.
Local truck driver Steve Kilpatrick was driving through New York when the towers were struck.
“Everything shook, My truck shook, the ground shook, everything shook. My first instinct was to get off the road and get away from my truck. I got off on the shoulder, went out the passenger side door and walked around to the back of the truck. That’s when I saw the first plane sticking out of the north tower. It didn’t seem like no time before the second plane had hit. When it hit it was even worse than the first one,” says Steve Kilpatrick, who witnessed 9/11 happen.
Kilpatrick was stuck on the bridge less than 2 miles away for 3 days and 3 nights.
He said that watching this American tragedy unfold right in front of his eyes made him feel helpless and heartbroken. It’s a feeling that still haunts him today-19 years later.
“I have looked at the towers, I don’t know how many times because they are right across the bay. I never imagined anything like that happening…..it was devastating. I sat there for three days and nights and all I heard was sirens. I was numb. I didn’t know what to think. It was too much to absorb all in one moment,” says Kilpatrick.
Kilpatrick says every year when 9/11 comes around he can’t help but get emotional all over again-just thinking about the thousands of lives that were lost that day. It’s a picture he cannot erase from his memory.
“You just had to have seen it. Those people who saw it on TV or heard about it on the news, it doesn’t compare to being right there and watching this whole messy story unfold. You just think about the lives that were lost…needlessly,” says Kilpatrick.