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9/11 witness recounts day that changed his life: ‘I thought I was going to die’

Posted at 12:00 AM, Sep 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-12 00:46:42-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- On the 16th anniversary of the deadliest attack on our country, a Henrico man reflected on the day that changed his life.

Monday, the father of five surrounded himself with family.

“I look at them as a blessing, said Dan Carro. “If things were different that day they would not be here, so I don’t take that for granted.”

Sixteen years ago Carro was working as a commodities broker in the New York Mercantile Exchange.

September 11, 2001 started like any other day for Carro who had just graduated from Virginia Tech.

Dan Carro

“It was a beautiful September day,” he said.

But things would quickly change in his morning meeting.

“There was only one building between me and the tower,” said Carro. “We heard a boom and the building kind of shook.”

American Airlines flight 11 had crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

“Just stood there for a while trying to make sense of what had happened,” said Carro. “I saw a person jump just with a business suit on. I thought how bad must it be inside that building for someone to take that option and jump 80 stories.”

“I remember my boss who was with us he yelled ‘oh my God here comes another one.’ I looked over to the right to the Statue of Liberty and I remember still on the side of the plane it said United and it just banked and picked up speed heading right toward us,” said Carro. “I remember just looking up while inside through the windows and seeing the plane hit and at that point it was just panicking.”

Carro remembers running down the stairwell of his building worried about the towers crumbling.

“If it fell to the side it definitely would have crushed the building, so when I was in the stairwell that’s all I could think about,” he said. “That was the one and only time in my life I thought I was going to die and it was a surreal, powerful feeling.”

Dan Carro

Carro returned to work the Monday after September 11 and spent three years in New York before moving. He’s proud that he didn’t let fear keep him away.

“I have a beautiful family, kids, wife. I look at them and I think wow, if something happened differently that day they wouldn’t even be here, so I am blessed to have that opportunity,” Carro said.

It took him years to talk about that day, but he felt it was important to remember the thousands who weren’t as lucky as him.

Carro’s written account of that day was accepted into the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.​