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Twin Towers Survivor Has Mixed Emotions About New 9/11 Museum

Nancy Harty Nancy Harty
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(CBS) – A 9/11 survivor with local ties says he plans to visit the new museum on the site of the old World Trade Center, but with mixed emotions.

Joe Dittmar was on the 105th floor of the south tower on September 11, 2001.

He and six others were the only survivors from a meeting of 54 insurance executives.

He says they were in the stairwell about five floors below where the second plane hit.

Dittmar describes handrails breaking off walls, a ball of heat, the smell of jet fuel and stairs that were undulating like waves.

The 57-year-old used to live in Aurora and says he wonders if he’ll react at the museum like he did the first time he saw pictures of the attacks, at a gallery in downtown Chicago.

9/11 Survivor Has Mixed Emotions About New Museum

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A photo of the plane hitting his building brought him to his knees – literally.

Since the attacks, he has spent countless hours of his vacation and free time giving presentations about his experience.

He calls it his passion to give a voice to the 3,000 people who died that day.

“It’s the least I can do,” he says.

Dittmar won’t be going before the museum opens to the public.  He says he’ll do what he did for the memorial — wait until he’s ready and go with his family.