August 1, 2012

August 1, 2012, 9:45 pm

December 7, 1941:

I went forward and went inside the ship, and then started back to my battle station and a bomb went off. I learned later it was back about turret number 4 about where I’d been working about 10, 15-minutes before. And evidently it knocked me out, ruptured both my lungs; And all the lights went out. I don’t know how long I laid there. But when I woke up, I picked up a flashlight and started down, into my battle station. They wouldn’t let me in the door-the water tight door which you’re not supposed to open in battle conditions-but I managed. It seemed like it was about 20 minutes and I finally outlasted the guy on the other side. And when I got into the turret, it was totally dark in there except the flashlight. And one of my division officers…said, “boy you’re a good boy Carson”. And he said that’s exactly what we needed. And it was, it was no panic down there or anything. But there was smoke and water knee deep. …and the senior division officer told us to all come out on deck & help; fighting fire & so forth, but there was nothing we could do. The ship was a total loss and the commander said well we just as well abandon ship. But before I did, I run into a friend of mine; he was crying and, and asking me for help. And I looked at him in horror. And the skin on his face & his arms and everything was just hanging like, like a mask or something. And I took hold of his arm. Skin all came off in my hand. And there, there was just nothing in this world I could do for that boy. And that has bothered me all my life. But he died. He did die later.

September 11, 2001:

He made one phone call out at 9:14 a.m. from the 105th floor, according to Vinny Camaj, his son. Roko called his wife, Katrina. This is an account of that conversation:

He said, “I’m on the 105th floor. There’s at least 200 people here.” He was waiting for the okay to go up or down. Before the second plane hit, they told him to stay where he was — he had a walkie-talkie.

He had full access to the roof. Most likely, he was on the roof when the first plane hit because he was operating the rig (window-washing) that day. He probably heard the plane coming.

He said, “I’m using a friend’s phone.” A cop’s phone, or a Port Authority police officer’s phone. He said it took over a half hour to get through because the cell phones weren’t working, and then the line at home was busy with people calling to ask about my father.

My mom was very panicked, but he told her, “Don’t upset my kids, we’re all in God’s hands.”

He couldn’t hear my mom anymore, but my mom heard him yelling, “Close the door, close the door, don’t let the smoke in.”

She was very happy to hear his voice. I called her right after they hung up. She said, “I just spoke to Daddy, everything’s okay.”

So, just to be obvious, today is nothing at all like either of those days of infamy.

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