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father and son survive 9/11 attack
father and son survive 9/11 attack

Remembering 9/11: A Survival Story

The place where the tallest buildings in New York once stood now houses a museum and a memorial dedicated to the 3,000 people who died in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Today marks the 19th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack in the history of the U.S., a date that will never be forgotten. 

Gustavo Alcivar, an Ecuadorian family man, and his son Eduardo lived to tell the story. They were both working in the Twin Towers when the planes hit the buildings.

“One of the saddest things was to see how people held hands and threw themselves out of the windows; maybe they thought it was just a fire??,” recalls Gustavo as he remembers the moment he had to come down the emergency steps from the 12th floor of the North Tower. 

Gustavo’s unforgettable journey began at 8:45 a.m., when the first plane hit the North Tower, until 3 p.m. when he made it home and saw that his family was safe. 

father and son survive 9/11 attack
Photo Courtesy: Chiara Alcivar

But before getting himself to safety, he made sure to help his peers.

Once firefighters forced the emergency exit doors open, he and a colleague stayed behind to help other people occupying the floor and were the last ones to exit.

While all this was happening, Gustavo says he was thinking of his son, Eduardo, who was due to come to work at 9:00 a.m. in the South Tower. 

Gustavo watched the windows collapse, smoke filling up the air, with bloody and dusty people running in terror. Cell phone communication had dropped while hundreds lined up at public payphones. He became anxious because he was unable to locate his son, Eduardo.

Fortunately, Eduardo did not make it to work on time that day because his train was rerouted due to the state of emergency. Gustavo’s odyssey did not end until the afternoon when he managed to get home and confirm that his son was safe.

Now Gustavo and Eduardo are among the 9/11 Latino heroes who survived the terrorist attack and get to remember this day with their family in New Jersey. Never Forget.

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