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S. Hall man filmed 9/11 attacks in NY
0911video2
Hall County resident Jim Kosior compiled the footage he shot in New York the morning of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and made a video of his experience.

An aspiring filmmaker, New Yorker James Kosior had his camera at the ready.

But never did he expect to capture the footage he did on Sept. 11, 2001.

At home that day recovering from two spinal fusions, he was having breakfast that morning with neighbors.

A friend calls later with the news: A plane had struck one of the twin towers.

"Right from there, I go up on the fire escape (with the camera)," said Kosior, now living in South Hall, where his wife operates Store More Self Storage on Atlanta Highway.

As he reached the fire escape, he immediately saw the North Tower smoldering, smoke pouring into the sky.

The video records Kosior's reactions. He utters several profanities, then catches himself, realizing the video might transcend personal use.

"I better watch my mouth because I know a lot of people are going to watch this video," he said on the recording.

Speaking to a nearby friend, Kosior said, "Can you believe this?" He then asked the friend to check out the news on his TV, to find out more of what was happening.

From his perch on the west side of Manhattan, across from the Hudson River, he had a clear view of the towers.

After a couple of minutes of being alone, he said to no one in particular, "This is a pretty frightening sight. This is unreal."

And then, as Kosior's camera is trained on the towers, a jet airliner can be seen soaring directly toward the skyscrapers.

Kosior started to pan away, then focused back on the buildings just as a fiery explosion rocked the South Tower.

"Another plane just hit it!" he yelled, his friend nearby. "What the hell is going on? This is an act of sabotage. It's got to be sabotage.

"... This is a terrorist act. There's probably going to be other targets all over the country today. We're being attacked, my friend. This is it."

The video, which never shows Kosior, later depicts Kosior talking with his wife. She was working at the time next to the Empire State Building, which he feared might also be a terrorist target because of his height and prominence.

By phone, Kosior pleaded with her to get out of the building. "I want you to leave now," he implored.

The video later shows what appears to be human figures falling from the tower.

"Those could be people jumping, one after another. Yeah, probably are," he said, continuing to act as narrator.

Kosior also captured the collapse of both towers — the South Tower at 9:59 a.m. and North Tower at 10:28 a.m.

"A lot of lives are being taken right now," he said, at one point. "A lot of people just died. I don't understand that."

With his camera focused on the cloud of debris billowing over Manhattan, he uttered, "They're both gone. They're all gone."

A few moments later, "I wonder if any other targets have been hit? ... I'm sure the whole nation is in shock right now."

During an interview in August at Store More Self Storage, Kosior talked about his experiences that day.

Reflecting on those hours on the fire escape, he said, "It was like the video camera became part of me." He couldn't let it loose, even though at one point in the tape, he said, "I've seen quite enough."

Kosior has since packaged his video from that day into a DVD that he calls "Tuesday Morning in September."

He plans on selling them, with proceeds going to organizations that support 9/11 causes.

The events of that day had a profound effect on Kosior.

"After 9/11, some people could just get on with their life, like nothing happened," he said. "But for me, (leaving) was pretty much a done deal. I went back into the city two times after that."

A Pennsylvania native, he lived different places over his life, including 12 years in New York.

They scouted out locations when they decided to leave New York.

Kosior and his wife, Norciva, moved to Hall County in 2004.

"We had an affinity for Georgia and that's how it was," Kosior said. "I'm not real big on living in the city after living up there. I wanted something a little bit out of the way."

 

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