Christie: On 9/11, I Was Terrified I’d Become a Single Father
Gov. Chris Christie Friday recalled the anxious hours on September 11, 2001, as he awaited word from his wife, Mary Pat, who was working in lower Manhattan.
During an appearance on "Fox and Friends" before the ceremonial reading of the World Trade Center victims at Ground Zero, Christie recalled not being able to locate wife Mary Pat for five hours after the plane hit the South Tower.
He had taken the day off after being told he was to be named United States Attorney for New Jersey, and dropped his three children — ages 8, 5 and 1 — at school. After the first plane hit, he called his wife, who was working at the Seaport Group at the time, and she assured him it was "just a commuter plane" and that it was already being taken care of by fire and police.
As they talked, the second plane hit and she was ordered to evacuate to her building's basement.
The governor could not reach his wife again and began thinking the worst.
"I was thinking, 'What was I going to do if i had to raise three children on my own?' 'What would I say to them about their mother?' It was incredibly frightening," recalled Christie. "Five minutes before the kids were going to come off the school bus, she called me from a pay phone in Midtown, Manhattan, where she had walked with a group of coworkers, when they eventually decided to leave the building."
Christie said Mary Pat took a ferry from the east side back to New Jersey and was soaking wet and wrapped in a blanket from being hosed down for dust and ash.
"That was the first sight of my wife after having left her that morning. I just grabbed her, hugged her, got her in the car and got her home," he said.
The governor also talked about a member of their church named Frank, whom Mary Pat had helped get a job at Cantor Fitzgerald in the World Trade Center. Christie described sitting with his family, awaiting word of his fate. Frank never made it home and the gym in their church is named after him.
The father of Patrick Christie's best friend, the oldest child in the Christie family, lost his life on 9/11.
"We've watched this man grow up," said Christie, "and every year he puts up a picture of his dad on his dad's birthday with the words 'Never Forget.'"
Christie ordered all flags at state facilities to be flown at half-staff on Friday.