Michigan survivor reflects on life-changing experience of World Trade Center terrorist attack

EAST LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) - Patrick Anderson is one of the lucky ones.  He managed to escape from the World Trade Center complex after it was attacked on September 11, 2001.

Anderson, from East Lansing, was in New York attending a conference of economists at the World Trade Center Marriott hotel on that fateful morning.

"I think about that day everyday," Anderson told Action News when he was asked to reflect on the horrific day in advance of the 10 year anniversary of the attacks on America.

"As someone like myself, who was able to escape death, and did so with the assistance of some others, it really does feel like a second least on life," he said.

Anderson was in his 8th floor hotel room when highjackers crashed American Airlines Flight 11 into the World Trade Center's North Tower.  Despite the confusion and chaos, Anderson said people didn't push or shove each other in trying to make their way to the lobby of the complex.

"They helped each other," Anderson said. "I helped a lady who was hyperventilating.  I thought she was going to die right there.  In fact, I remember telling her, 'let's breathe deep and let's just walk out of here alive.' I carried her briefcase.  Little did I, or she know what was outside or what was going on above us."

Moments after they made it out of the building the second plane crashed into the South Tower.

Anderson is founder and chief executive officer of Anderson Economic Group , based in East Lansing.  He said he plans to spend time with his family on September 11, which he does every year on the anniversary of the tragedy. 

Anderson has created a foundation, Michigan Remembers 9/11 Fund . In addition to recording a history of the events of September 11, 2001, as experienced by Michiganians, the foundation will provide a physical memorial to all those who from Michigan that died.

"I'm actually happy, in Michigan, and as a society, we're not forgetting that day." he said.

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