U.S. Marine Corps Master Gunnery Sgt. Erik Jackson discusses his experiences during the 9/11 attack while he was stationed in Washington, D.C.
ALBANY, Ga. -- A former Albany resident wrote a story about his experiences in New York on 9/11 and a local U.S. Marine spoke about the attack on the Pentagon at the Exchange Club of Albany lunch Friday.
Exchange Club member Russ Allen read from his friend's letter describing the attack on the World Trade Center. Allen is now a Boston resident.
On Sept. 11, 2001, Bryan Kohl was living in New York and planned on going to job interviews -- in the World Trade Center. He got a call from a friend in Atlanta before he left an apartment for the towers.
"Hey, man, something's happening downtown," Kohl's friend said. "The news here in Atlanta is saying a plane hit one of the towers. A Cessna maybe. Aren't you headed down there for another round of interviews?"
Not that day. That day he found that in the midst of horrific disaster, people bond together.
"This collective flood of emotions, this profound confusion -- virtually impossible to reconcile at the time -- as New Yorkers, as Americans, as human beings, we had no choice but to rise above them," he wrote.
Marine Master Gunnery Sgt. Erik Jackson showed slides of the attacks in New York and at the Pentagon. Jackson was stationed at an Air Force base and lived within a few miles of the Pentagon.
Jackson knew people in the Pentagon and, through a sad coincidence, on the plane that would crash into the military headquarters.
"One of my daughter's elementary school classmates was on a plane to go to California to receive a student honor," Jackson said. "She was on the flight that hit the Pentagon."
Both the reading of the letter from Kohl and the talk by Jackson received standing ovations from Exchangites.
The primary purpose of the Exchange Club is fighting child abuse. To help with that goal the club donated $500 to Liberty House, an organization that helps domestic violence victims and their families at the luncheon.