Activist William Rodríguez is considered “the last survivor ”of the terrorist attack suffered by the city of New York (USA) on September 11, 2001, an attack that changed the designs of international politics and that today victims fight for their reparation.
Is he case of the affected Latinos who that day were affected by the attack in which two planes collided with the twin towers of the New York World Trade Center, causing their collapse and “an international crime ”, since there“ were represented more than 92 countries”.
Rodríguez worked as a janitor in the north tower and on September 11 he had in his possession “The only master key available” of the five that allowed access to the buildings, so developed rescue tasks together with the emergency services of the city throughout the day, in addition to surviving the attack after “saving hundreds of lives and being buried alive under the rubble.”
Subsequently, it was recognized as “national hero in the USA” and it’s the President of the ‘Hispanic Victims Group’, which represents “2,320 affected families”. His work in the defense of this community has been the reason that has brought the activist of Puerto Rican origin to the Costa del Sol, where this Friday he was recognized at the ‘New York Summit’ gala, a business leadership event held celebrated for the first time in Spain and that it has chosen Marbella as its venue.
“I remember 9/11 as an element that changed and transformed me as a human being. I had an emotional and spiritual metamorphosis from that day, from that tragedy, which unwittingly turned me into an activist and the image of disaster. And today, 20 years later, I remember the event on a daily basis ”, declared Rodríguez, who stressed that the main need presented by the victims of the attack is that of“ mental health ”.
“I entered the building three times taking people out and I saw it as desperation, not as a heroic act because I was desperate trying to get my friends out “, whom” I never got to because they were on the top floor of the tower, “said the activist, who That day he was not going to go to work, but he finally came half an hour later, and that motive saved his life.
The The explosion surprised him “in the basement number 1 of the north tower at 08:46“Which” lifted us into the air and the ceiling collapsed on top of us, fire detectors go off and the walls crack, “and thought” it was an electric power generator. ” When he went to check what was happening, “another very loud explosion is heard and the building begins to shake, the fax machine falls on the floor and at that moment a man comes screaming down the hall, explosion! with outstretched arms, with the flesh torn from under the armpits to the fingertips on both arms ”, whom he helped.
From a new explosion, “I begin to lead a group of 14 people” through the “loading and unloading area by knowing the building to perfection ”and taking the victims down a ramp and that’s when he hears that a plane has hit the tower. “I turn and see a hole and smoke so thick that it covered the antenna of the north tower and I see fire and debris falling, which later I find out that it was not debris, that it was the people who were throwing themselves away ”.
“Two decades later, I relive September 11 daily, It marked me in a direct way and it is a genetic mark that is never removed because what you live in that horrendous day is so shocking, It was living a dantesque hell that does not go out of your mind“Rodríguez said, highlighting that despite this he has been able to” manage the stress, anguish and pain of what was experienced that day and transform it into something positive, which is my mission to help others. ”
After being raised by the country’s media, the activist explained that organized the victims, presented before the Chambers “bills” and helped “raise more than 100 million” for those affected. He also began to “Fight for rescuers, that many were dying because they had smelled the toxic dust that was in ground zero and they were not giving aid ”, a work for which he has been recognized in Marbella.
Rodríguez has highlighted how victims’ main need for “mental health” due to “post-traumatic shock“, Aid for” medical expenses because many people have fallen ill and developed cancers or asthma “, ensuring that” more than 17 types “of tumors have been identified in the area; create “a Board of survivors not only of September 11, but of catastrophic events” and know “the truth, what really happened on 9/11”, regretting that “a number of documents that the Government did not want to make public and that allegedly involve Saudi Arabia were declassified”.