NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – In the days following the terrorist attacks of 9/11, then New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani became known as “America’s Mayor.”

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb With The Story

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For Giuliani, the tenth anniversary is very painful. On 9/11, he watch helplessly as people leaped from the burning towers and asked fire chief Peter Ganci whether helicopters could rescue them.

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Ganci pointed to flames shooting out of the side of the buildings; an airborne rescue would not be possible.

“He said, ‘My guys can save everybody below the fire’ and, actually, they did, if you look at the 9/11 commission report. The fire department saved just about everybody below the fire, about 98 percent or something like that. But he was telling me that the people above the fire were going to die and I was looking at them,” said Giuliani.

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Ganci was killed when the north tower collapsed.

After the towers fell, Giuliani faced reporters’ questions about how many people had been killed.

“The first estimate that I was given of the number of people that we lost was 12,000,” he told WCBS 880 reporter Rich Lamb.

Giuliani says he’d been given numbers ranging from 5,000 to 15,000 that first day and said the “losses will be more than we can bear.”

“I really didn’t know. So, when I answered ‘It would be too much for us to bear’ I was almost talking about myself. It’s almost too much for me to bear,” said Giuliani.

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