A Witness of 9/11: An Interview with Martin Ilgen


Picture of New York City, New York before 9/11 took place.

On September 11th, 2001 the World Trade Centers in New York City fell after a terrorist attack now commonly known as 9/11. Over the past weekend I sat down with my pap, Marty Ilgen, to speak about his view on this disastrous event. We touch on subjects ranging from where he was during the attack to his thoughts on something like this happening again. The following information is directly quoted from Marty and may be hard for some to read.

I opened with a question that helps to get to know Marty and the age at which he saw this event. When I asked for his age he stated “This taking place 19 years ago, I would have been 61 when it happened.” This being so his was still working and actually had a meeting near NYC during the time of the attack.

When Mr. Iglen was questioned about his reaction as he saw the events unfold he had this to say. “I didn’t really witness the event but I did see some smoke from the lower Manhattan area, I was about 20 miles away at the time. As for my reaction, would say I was in disbelief that something like that could happen.” Mr. Ilgen, while not being in NYC or at home in Pennsylvania still got to see the smoke rise from the horrific attack the day it happened.

Still tagging along with the previous question when asked what crossed the minds of him and others near he had this to say. “When I started watching the videos the only person around was your gram, and we watched it together she was in disbelief as well. But as for my thoughts, I could believe that it was only about an hour until the towers fell down.” This being said for the short hour the events unfolded in, to people there on that day it felt like an eternity.

The following question of how he thought that nation would be if the event never happened sparked an interesting response of “Well, obviously there would be 3,000 more people alive. But I think it woke the nation up knowing we could be attacked at anytime. I think we would have kept up the idea that we were invincible and nothing could attack us.” This is true for many other people say that this event was a major awakening for the USA as a whole.

Marty was then questioned with the idea of what he felt about getting to live through this point in history. To which he said “I guess since I’m a History buff, I’m not sure I’d say I’m glad to see it happen. But it was definitely a watermark in US History because of the damage that was done.” I would think nobody would be happy to live through this day and his response supports many in that idea.

The following question began to look at the idea of if the nation has moved in the correct direction after the event. Mr. Ilgen has this to say “I think we’ve taken some safety measures so now they’re scrutinizing the people who get on planes more. It moved in the right direction as far as trying to secure things more.”  This was both a great yet scary answer as it means we still may have not learned all we could from the event.

The final question is one of great importance asking, can you see this event happening again? Marty responded with “Yes, because we still take a lot of things for granted. I think there’s to many people who still don’t have a clue what’s going on. The millennials and people like you were very young and didn’t see it happen like older folks.” This is a hard to swallow yet understandable answer. We may have more to learn but one thing is for sure, this event happening again would be detrimental to this country yet again.