This week marks the 20th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks. Twenty years later, the voices of those directly affected by the events of this day are as powerful as ever. CharlotteFive reported on a very powerful story of a Charlotte Banker and his brave escape.
Charlotte banker Dave Paventi was sitting on the 81st floor of the North Tower on September 11th, 2001. He had arrived in New York City a day earlier for business meetings. According to the CharlotteFive, “I remember it was a foggy day, and I got to the office and immediately walked over to the windows and stepped up on the heat register to look out and couldn’t see a thing,” Paventi said. The first hijacked plane struck the 93rd floor.
Some of his coworkers, some of whom had experienced the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, knew better and began to make their way toward the stairwell. In the background, Paventi recalls hearing someone calling out that an airplane had hit the building as they made their way toward the stairs. According to the interview, “The assumption was that maybe it was a small plane. At the time, we had no frame of reference for a passenger jet crashing into a building,” Paventi said. His family in Charlotte was frantic and worried for his safety.
As Paventi and his co-worker navigated the stairwell, once they hit the 30th-floor traffic came to a complete halt. They then saw firefighters making their way up the stairs. After reaching the lower level, which had emergency lighting, Paventi described the scene as that of a scene from “Die Hard.”
According to the interview from CharlotteFive, “Once we were out in the courtyard, a policewoman began screaming at us all to run, get away from the building, and don’t look back. That’s when we took off. About three blocks down, I saw Bob round a corner and tuck behind a building. He had been on my phone with his wife. I followed him, and just as we did that, an enormous white cloud came rushing down the street.”
Remarkably, Paventi still has the shirt he was wearing that day in addition to having his World Trade Center visitors badge, dated September 11, 2001. Twenty years later, Paventi and Bob remain friends and colleagues, working together in Charlotte. You can read more on this remarkable story here.