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Florissant couple remembers being in New York on 9/11

FLORISSANT, Colo. (KRDO) -- Al and Jan Rice were a quarter mile across the Brooklyn Bridge when the Twin Towers collapsed. They vividly remember seeing the south tower be struck on that September morning.

"We see another plane coming down the Hudson river and as its coming down the Hudson river it starts to turn and it was under the smoke of the first fire and then it kept banking, and kept banking," Jan Rice said. "It just sawed right through the building and we have all seen that on TV."

The Rice's were working in Brooklyn in 2001. Unaware that they would be witnessing history during their time living there. They lost 14 friends during the 9/11 attacks.

Jan and Al Rice

"We could have been over there. We could have been in those friends place, and so as a result it makes us appreciate life even more," Al Rice said.

They explained that being in New York during the attacks was a surreal experience. The smoke, the sirens, the debris all shocking for the couple.

"When you are standing there hearing it, smelling it, tasting it, its a part of your psyche. It's a part of you," Al Rice said.

The towers that were once a integral part of the New York skyline, collapsed. A shocking moment for the couple.

Al Rice said, "We say they are really gone. Those towers were like landmarks. It was like David Letterman said, 'It was like New York got its two front teeth knocked out.'

Tonight, the Manhattan skyline was graced with two lights where the towers once stood. A reminder of the lives lost that fateful day and the first responders that risked their lives to save others.

New York 9/11/2021

"We can see that man can be as inhumane to other men, but at the converse side there is a lot of good and we weren't meant to live that way," Al Rice said.

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Sean Rice

Sean is a reporter based out of Pueblo for KRDO. Learn more about him here.



  1. Always people who weren’t really involved in horrific incidents, who desperately want it to appear that they were. Meanwhile, those people who really were involved in those incidents, desperately wish they never had been.

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