Vol. 15


The 78th Floor

2001; New York, New York, USA

It was a beautiful Tuesday in September. Everyone woke up for work. My cousin Ari Schonbrun worked at Cantor Fitzgerald in the World Trade Center. When he was leaving for work, his wife stopped him and told him to stay and help fill out his son’s school assignment. It took twenty minutes, and Ari was so nervous that he would be late for work.

Those twenty minutes saved Ari’s life, because if he had been at work on time, he would have been in his office at Cantor Fitzgerald at the top of the World Trade Center. Because Ari was late for work, he was only on the 78th floor when the plane hit the first tower.(1)

Ari was changing elevators, and smoke and fire were everywhere! He saw a woman who was one of his co-workers, and she was badly burned. Ari helped her down all of the stairs, which were very smoky. The ambulance came and she was put in it. Ari was about to go back into the building to help other co-workers, but the woman said to the ambulance driver, “This man is coming with us. We are not leaving without him!” The woman convinced Ari to go with her, so Ari went with the woman. If he had gone back into the building, it would have fallen with him inside. So that day, Ari’s life was saved two times.

Out of the 662 people in the Cantor Fitzgerald office, Ari Schonbrun was one of only four people to survive. Those experiences changed his life and the life of everyone else who heard Ari’s story. Because of his experiences, he changed his priorities and made sure to put family first. Now Ari goes around telling his story to others to inspire them to enjoy every day of life.

Jake Bench; New York, USA


1. On September 11 (9/11) of 2001, terrorists crashed a passenger airliner into each of the 110-story Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. In less than two hours both of the towers collapsed.



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