Newsreader Ray Velten said that when the planes hit WTC buildings 1 and 2, he “was in a subbasement at 5th and 6th avenues in the city doing start-ups on some new equipment, and couldn’t believe what I was hearing on the radio.

“Every tech in New York City [was] thinking of how many times they were in and around the towers,” he said, “working either on the roofs or in the basements. I did a six-month start-up in 7 World Trade Center during a renovation and can't even conceive of it falling down like a ‘house of cards’ — unbelievable — 850-ton chillers falling to the ground from penthouse machine rooms.”


Velten recommended that those interested in donating cash or equipment for the benefit of police, firefighters, and rescue workers send it to The Twin Towers Fund, General Post Office, P.O. Box 26999 New York, NY 10087-6999.

He added this extra advice: “Don’t donate to any people over the phone or by mailings, and never give a credit card number out; do it all with checks or other traceable means.” Velten said the rescue teams need “dry socks, cough drops for the rescuers working in the dust ... everything from dog food and treats for the rescue dogs to all the human items. … Prayers and donations are the most important things.”

Velten added these personal/professional notes: “I drive across the 59th Street bridge every morning and I am still wondering, ‘Where did they move the towers to?’ And I know for a fact that some hvac guys were lost ... so pray for them.

“New Yorkers are on the job with their hearts and cheers as the days pass,” Velten said. “People in Manhattan are actually making eye contact with each other and are striking up conversations on the disbelief that they [the WTC buildings] fell down. And I haven’t heard a horn blowing in days with all those cabs; if you have ever been here, you know what I mean.” We know what you mean. Thank you, Ray.

Publication date: 09/17/2001