The terrorist attack on New York City had a personal side for former Fort Scott, Kans., resident John VanSickle — he was there.
Still settling into his second week at a law firm in lower Manhattan, VanSickle decided to go to work early on Sept. 11. He wanted to have time to visit a health center in the World Trade Center complex near the office building where he worked.
At about 8:55 a.m., he made his way through an unusually crowded exit as he left the Manhattan subway. VanSickle said that as he maneuvered through a crowd standing outside of the subway exit he saw people staring up at the twin towers of the World Trade Center. When the towers came into view, VanSickle saw that one tower had thick black smoke pouring out of it nearly three-fourths of the way up the tower. He said he stared in disbelief as he saw human bodies falling from the tower.
After seeing several people fall from the tower, VanSickle turned and saw firetrucks coming down the street. As he yelled to try and clear the dense crowd so the fire trucks could get through, a second explosion ripped through lower Manhattan. As with the first tower, a hijacked commercial jetliner had plowed into the building and exploded in a dramatic fireball that was televised to the world by news reporters covering what turned out to be America’s first terrorism attack of the 21st century.
VanSickle said people were stunned as the shock waves of the explosion shook the buildings around them. Continue reading