September 11th Survivor Speaks In Eau Claire


Talking about September 11th can bring back painful memories, thoughts of loved ones lost and lives cut short.

Still, one man, who's believed to have been the last man out of the World Trade Center's North Tower is doing just that, bringing his story of survival to Eau Claire.
William Rodriguez worked for nearly 20 years as a janitor in the World Trade Center and is credited with rescuing 15 people from the North tower and saving hundreds by opening stairwell doors with his master key. Now, he's continuing to help the victims of 9/11, this time... with his words.

"Five years after 9/11 the victims, survivors and those affected by the events are still searching for answers, five years after we're still hurting," Rodriguez said.

So, Rodriguez now travels across the country and throughout the world speaking on their behalf.

"They have been dehumanizing the story because they're always talking about the buildings, the buildings the planes, but they don't talk about the lives that were lost and what really happened in the building that day," he said.

And it's their stories he hopes to share, along with his own. However, one part of his story differs from the reports most of us have heard.

"I was the janitor in charge of all the stairwells in the North Tower on 9/11, I had the only master key that opened all the doors and this is the master key, they call it the key of hope, on 9/11 there was a huge explosion in the basement before the plane hit the towers," Rodrigez said.

He says on September 11th, he and other victims experienced a series of explosions inside the building, explosions, that were never recognized in the 9/11 commission report. While Rodriguez isn't sure what the explosion was, he is sure of one thing, the lesson he learned from 9/11.

"It's not your job, it's not what you do, it's not how much you make, or how much you earn, it's really the people that are close to you, nothing else matters," he said.


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