9/11 Survivors Reflect on World Trade Center and Pentagon Attacks as 10th Anniversary Nears

PHOTO: Ten years ago, on Sept. 11, 2001, Florence Jones was working for Baseline Financial at the World Trade Center when planes piloted by terrorists plowed into the two towers in downtown Manhattan.
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Florence Jones remembers the deli, the farmer's market from which she got her breakfast and the fire station where she'd greet two or three men every day with a "Good morning."

"You know because they always had a smile on their face, always had something nice to say," Jones said. "It was just keeping a report on them. You never know when you might need them."

She was working for Baseline Financial 10 years ago, on Sept. 11, 2001, at the World Trade Center when planes piloted by terrorists plowed into the two towers in downtown Manhattan. Jones was on the 78th floor of the South Tower.

ABC News invited Jones to tour ground zero last month from within the fences for the first time since that day.

"I remember distinctly saying what a beautiful day this started out to be and it descended into hell on Earth," Jones told ABC News' David Muir as she walked around. "I really thought the end of the island was just going to fall into the East River."

Of the last 25 people out of the South Tower that, she was No. 18. She and several survivors spoke with ABC News about what they remembered and what their lives were like now as the 10th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil approached.

Sept. 11: After Fall, Stairwell Stands

Jay Jonas was a captain fort the Fire Department City of New York on Sept. 11. He was among 14 people -- 12 of them firefighters -- who found themselves trapped on a stairwell between the second and fourth floors after the North Tower had collapsed.

In 2002, during an anniversary special, Jonas told ABC News that he and the others waited three hours in the darkness until the dust and smoke settled. Then they slowly crossed a three-story-deep trench of twisted metal.

Now a deputy chief, Jonas said he didn't retire because he wanted to help the fire department rebuild.

"I didn't want anybody to chase me out," he told Muir. "I'm living my lifelong dream. I've wanted to be a fireman since I was a little kid."

"If you look at the chain of events that happened that day for us," he said last month. "It is very unlikely that we would survive that but we did. I look at the footage of the building coming down and I shake my head. You know, I don't know how I survived that."

Jones said that the first five years were difficult for her as she battled survivor's guilt.

"Like, what could you have done? What could have you said? Could you have made any changes?" she said she wondered. "Then, after the fifth anniversary, it was kind of like, enough, you know. ... You can't change the events. You can't change what you did that day. You couldn't have made any other people leave that day but you don't have to live with fear."

Pentagon Survivor: 'I Was Spared'

Sheila Moody, who suffered third-degree burns to her hands and injuries to her face when a plane was flown into the Pentagon, said that 10 years later, she'd finally let go of the fear and was able to forgive.

"A lot has happened in my life in the last 10 years," she said. "I praise God that I'm still alive, still amazed that I survived."

It was her second day on the job and Moody was sitting in her cubicle when the plane hit, sending a fireball flying past her.

"I should have been consumed immediately from either the fire, the smoke, the fumes, the heat," she said. "I was spared."

Although Moody had known her co-workers for only a day, she said, she still thinks of the colleagues who perished.

"There are so many things that they missed in the past 10 years," she told ABC News' Muir. "The daughter whose dad couldn't walk her down the aisle or couldn't see her graduate from college. The grandbabies that are being born that are going to miss a grandmother or a grandfather."

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