Warner Robins Man Recalls Witnessing 9/11 Attacks

9:11 PM, Sep 10, 2013   |    comments
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67-year old Ken Holzer of Warner Robins remembers September 11, 2001 like it was yesterday.

Holzer, who was living in Queens, is a retired subway operator who was working delivering interoffice mail in Manhattan.

On 9/11, he was working on the 40th floor of a building in Midtown, when something came on TV.

"The newcasters were down there, reporters with the camera crews," Holzer says. "And I just happened to look out the window when Tower 2 started falling and collapsing."

He said when he went into the office in the morning, the guard told him there was a plane "flying down Broadway," which he thought was unusual.  But when the second attack happened, Holzer knew it was an attack.  He decided to go back to his main officer further uptown.

"When I got to the train station, no trains were running, so I walked," he says.

"That's when I was passing by this one restaurant, and I started to see Tower One coming down."

That's when Holzer realized his friend who worked for Cantor Fitzgerald on one of the floors above where the plane hit had been killed.

"I saw it come down in a big cloud of smoke and dust," Holzer says. "That's when I said 'goodbye, Jim'."

Jim had helped arrange a job interview for Holzer at the same place on September 12th. But by then, the building was rubble.

Holzer, a Vietnam War veteran, was angered that Americans were attacked, and a week later, went into a recruiting center in Times Square, ready to enlist.

"This one, just out of basic training said 'the recruiter don't want to talk to you, what's your age?  I said 55, who cares, I'm willing to go!"

Instead, life had other plans.  Holzer moved to Warner Robins in 2008 to be close to his son and family.

Although Holzer wasn't allowed to join the military a second time, his grandsons have served tours in Iraq.

Holzer says although the nation has changed since 9/11, and he's since moved to Georgia, he'll always remember that day 12 years ago.

"I'm going to have the memories, the people, that I personally knew that died in those buildings," Holzer says. "It's sometimes hard to recover."

Follow 13WMAZ's Tom George on Twitter @thetomgeorge

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