Athens man describes living in New York during terrorist attacks - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Athens man describes living in New York during terrorist attacks

John Colonnello still can't watch images from September 11, 2001. 

"I just remember an incredible smell that you could never describe," said Colonnello. 

The New York native is the student pastor at the New Life Assembly of God in Athens, but ten years ago he lived in New York City. 

"One of the stories that really stands out in my head is my friend Jimmy. He worked on the 82nd floor. The first plane hit and he started heading down, went down 20 flights of stairs and people told him to get back up," said Colonnello. "He was there in 1993 and he said 'I'm not going to take a chance'. He made it to the 40th floor got to the 40th floor and the second plane crashed. He said the building was going left to right and swaying back and forth."

Jimmy made it out alive, but all his coworkers that returned to their desks perished. 

Catching Bin Laden gave Colonnello some closure, but there's still one thing that gets under his skin.

"All these people that aren't closely related to 9-11 sending out all these emails and websites saying it was a conspiracy, it just really angers me," he said.

Colonnello isn't sure how he'll react on the anniversary, but he and his wife will never forget the thousands lost in the attack.

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