9/11 Survivor: Boston Marathon bombings brings back painful memories

8:59 PM, Apr 16, 2013   |    comments
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Wealth management advisor Daniel Hoffe was in the south tower of the World Trade Center on 9/11 when the plane struck.


Boston Marathon Bombing

Full coverage of the twin bombing terrorist attack that struck the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013.

* PICS: Boston bombing explosion pictures
* PICS: Aftermath on Boylston Street
* Boston Marathon Bombing: Casualties, dozens injured after twin explosions at finish line 
* PICTURES: FBI releases images of 2 suspects
* Boy, 8, killed in Boston Marathon blasts
* Restaurant manager also killed
* Chinese grad student third dead victim
* OBAMA "We will find out who did this"
* Transcript of President Obama's immediate remarks
* Bombing "an act of terrorism"
* INVESTIGATION: FBI taking lead in Boston Marathon bombings
* Search is on: Boston Bombing suspect
* FBI in Boston: No known additional threats
* Mass. Gov: No unexploded bombs at Boston Marathon
* VIRAL PIC: Man on roof above Boston blast
* Know someone there?: How to find a marathon runner
* Google Boston Marathon person finder
* VIDEO: 10 News reporter Noah Pransky live from the scene
* Fear and fury from local marathon runner
* PRESSURE COOKERS suspected to have been bomb devices
* People running in remembrance of Boston victims
* Elderly runner seen falling down is unhurt
* Bomb parts pictured in leaked FBI bulletin
* Family Guy Hoax: Show creator condemns bomb-clip mashup
* Who is Dzhokhar Tsarnaev?
* CAUGHT! Bombing suspect in custody after standoff
* Surviving suspect answers questions in hospital


Sarasota, Florida - The Boston Marathon explosions brought back painful memories for a 9/11 survivor from Sarasota.

"Life is so fragile. You never think today would be your last day ever," says Daniel Hoffe.

When Hoffe sits at his desk every day, he sees a series of pictures of the 9/11 attacks on New York's World Trade Center, a reminder of the inferno he survived.

"It reminds me how lucky I am, reminds me of the folks that were not as lucky. Part of my role is to make sure people do not forget heroes that day, and make sure we never have a tragedy like that again," says Hoffe.

More: Daniel Hoffe's story of survival

Yet an act of terror has happened once again nearly 13 years later at the Boston Marathon, with two explosions 10 seconds apart near the finish line. The bombings left three people dead and more than 170 injured.

Hoffe says the images are too familiar. "Like the carnage, saw the damage, explosions, hear the sirens brings back thoughts of another terrorist act."

On 9/11 Hoffe was on the 61st floor of the WTC's South Tower, about to attend a training seminar when the first plane struck the North Tower. 

Hoffe recalls that moment. "When it hit, you heard the explosion. It cracked windows all the way down to where we were. I am looking out. I saw smoke and debris, a ticker tape parade of all the documents pouring down out of the sky."

As Hoffe and others head down the stairs to evacuate, the second plane hits their tower. The building sways and the stairs fill with smoke.

Hoffe suspects when the two bombs exploded during the Boston Marathon, victims felt the way he did as he escaped the burning tower. Hoffe says, "It's a tremendous shock. You never think this would happen to you."

During 9/11, Hoffe says America lost its innocence. "I think it changed the way we think about the world."

But the Boston attacks, Hoffe says it's made us aware of how much we need each other. "I think now we realize we have to work together no matter where we are... in a marathon or a stadium, we have to be protecting each other, have each other's back."

Hoffe sends his prayers and thoughts to the victims in Boston and for those who walked away. He knows they feel as he does every day. 

"Those who walked away are grateful. They realize as I did that life is more fragile than we ever think."

Isabel Mascarenas

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