After the wing of the first plane to hit the World Trade Center tore through the 81st floor, Sujo John fought through the flames and fuel, down the stairwell for more than hour, only to be trapped in the collapse of the North Tower.
“It felt like the end of the world. It was hard to believe it was happening around me,” John said.
He said his only thoughts were of his wife, Mary, who worked on the 71st floor of the South Tower.
John said thankfully, she was running late that day.
“She just got to the concourse level and she was pushed out of the building,” John said.
He said she was carrying their unborn child, Jeremy, now 11 years old.
Yet it took the heroic actions of an FBI bomb technician to pull him from the debris.
John said after saving him, the man ran to the next tower to help others, but never came out.
“He was the only FBI agent to die that day,” John said.
John said since then, he used the experience to create Sujo John Ministries.
“That’s the reason I do what I do: the story is a way for me to share the Gospel,” John said.
John spoke Wednesday at Concordia Lutheran Church, telling those listening to his “Out of the Ashes” speech about his harrowing ordeal.
He also now has You Can Free Us, a ministry for young girls and women ensnared by human traffickers in his home country of India.
“I fell in love with America on 9/11. I had only lived in this country six months,” John said.
Now on the 12th anniversary of a day the world won’t forget, John said he is remembering all those who died that day and first responders who continue to save lives every day.
“This is a great nation. So inspire that greatness into your kids,” John said. “Inspire them to do something big and to leave the world a better place than we found it.”