This day is not the best day for me. I can't stand that Bush is using 9/11 as a stump speech, but I wanted to dedicate this post to the family of Tom Magee. He worked with my father at the IUOE-local 94 for a long time and after my father retired, Charlie was in the Towers, trying to save lives.
John worked with Charles "Charlie" Magee, the Chief Engineer at the Center. Along with the 35 other employees who made up the management staff of the World Trade Center, they began their day high above the bustling city, managing what was a city within the city.--In the Management Office on the 88th floor, the scope of the catastrophe was more evident. John Griffin Jr. and Charlie Magee also thought at first that an electrical substation had blown up. The force of the explosion lifted furnishing into the air. One desk had flown up and landed five feet away. The falling debris and furnishings blocked access to the stairwells. The room began to fill with smoke. John, Charlie and others began to break out windows to get air into the room.
They realized they had to escape and managed to clear a way to a stairwell. They made certain that they had all the occupants from the floor together and then began the long descent down the stairwell.-- On the way down the stairwell, John kept talking to his co-workers, keeping them calm as they made their way down. They began to meet firemen coming up the stairs, so some congestion started within the stairwell. At each level, other building occupants were streaming into the stairwell and the group of 35 from the Management office became separated by the mass of people trying to leave the building.
No one ever saw John Griffin Jr. or Charlie Magee after that. If they did make it to the first floor, they would have immediately joined the fire command personnel. They would not have left the building.
All that was ever recovered of John Griffin Jr. was one credit card, bearing his name.