WABC correspondent N.J. Burkett publicly shared his memories of September 11, 2001 for the first time at the Sussex County Remembrance Ceremony over the weekend. Burkett recalled speeding down to lower Manhattan with his cameraman, Marty Glembotzky, according to the New Jersey Herald:
He talked of how he told Marty to “start with a shot of me and pan up the building.” That directorial suggestion captured the moment when the first tower began to collapse. The resulting video has been replayed time and again and resulted in a Peabody Award for the station.
Then came the moments of terror as parts of the building “began raining down” and he and Marty “knew we had four, five seconds. We turn around and there is the door.” The door was to the American Express building, a route out from under the millions of tons of rubble that soon covered West Street.
“What if that door had not been there? What if it had been locked?” he has asked himself. In the hours after the attack, Burkett managed to get to a telephone and called his father. “There’s nothing quite like hearing your own father cry,” he said.