A Chinese-American Hero saved by the

Grace of God in the World Trade Center

On the Second Anniversary of the Terrorist Attack on America the Fox News TV Channel showed an interview with Police Officer David Lim of the New York and New Jersey Port Authority that owned the World Trade Center.  After guiding hundreds down the stairs and out of the World Trade Center, David Lim, the 24-year police veteran, found himself in a deluge of steel and concrete as Tower One collapsed around him. He managed to escape from the wreckage, along with one civilian and members of Ladder Company 6 of the New York Fire Department.   When asked about his survival David Lim said: “I am still alive by the grace of God.”  One firefighter acknowledged their narrow escape “was truly a miracle.” Another firefighter said. “God willed that we made it through the collapse.” These heroes believe and have strong convictions in God's guiding hand in their survival.


David Waymond Lim is a first generation Chinese American.  He was born in New York City's Chinatown on September 2, 1956, more than a decade after his parents immigrated to the United States from the Toison province of China.  When they arrived the Lim family opened a restaurant and began forming their new lives in America.  Inspired by the cops who frequented his parents’ Chinatown restaurant, he determined at an early age that he wanted to become a police officer.

By 1980, his dream had become a reality, as he worked at the World Trade Center beat for the Port Authority police department. Spurred by the 1993 bombing, he joined the K-9 patrol in 1997, clearing VIP areas and checking trucks for explosives with the help of his dog Sirius.


Here is what Police Officer David Lim described on what happened to him on the morning of September 11, 2001.

"I'm not very articulate, so bear with me.  It was 08:45 hrs when the first plane struck the North Tower. I locked my dog, Sirius, in his kennel and proceeded to the Plaza of #1 WTC to assist in evacuation.  I noted a body that had either jumped or was thrown out a higher floor.  I had never seen anything like this in my life.  While calling in the DOA, another body landed 50 ft from the first.  I was advised of multiple aided on the upper floors and proceeded up the "B" staircase.  I stopped on the 27th floor to assist and sat with FDNY to rest before we continued. They were wearing full bunker gear & hauling a lot of equipment. I called Diane (my wife) and told her I was all right.

I made it to the 44th floor skylobby and while I directed people to the stairway, I saw the 2nd plane strike the South Tower.  I was knocked off my feet by the concussion. I quickly gathered the remaining people and the firemen, and headed back down the stairs. On the way we encountered some elderly & physically handicapped persons. The fireman began dropping their equipment and carrying them down.  On the 21st floor I saw three other officers and was advised of the collapse of the South Tower. We assisted another aided and kept moving down.  On the 5th floor I found a Battalion Chief trying to help an injured woman. I stopped to help and we got to the 4th floor when the North Tower collapsed on top of us. Myself, six firemen from Ladder 6 and Josephine survived, only suffering minor injuries.”

In today’s (9/11/03) interview with Fox News TV Channel Police Officer David Lim of the New York and New Jersey Port Authority that owned the Twin Towers said: “I am still alive by the grace of God.”   David Lim and the firefighters were on the fourth floor of the World Trade Centers Tower One when it began to collapse. 


They were saved when they stopped to help a woman, Josephine Harris, down a stairwell.  When they were rescued nearly five hours later, the stairwell, which had formed a protective “pocket,” was the only part of the building left standing. Of the 15 members of Ladder Co. 6 trapped that day, 14 survived. One of the firefighters D’Agostino said that had they not encountered Harris in the stairwell that day, they would have been killed. She had stopped out of exhaustion. “A minute later, and we wouldn’t be having this conversation,” Lim said. “It was truly a miracle,” Butler said. “God willed that we made it through the collapse.” The men recounted their escape, during which they crawled through rubble, walked on I-beams, and descended four stories via a rope.


At one point, they were forced to retreat when a Secret Service ammunition depot exploded, discharging bullets. “I thought somebody had landed on the beach,” Lim said. “I was wearing one of those old leather helmets,” Butler said. “I remember wondering if a leather helmet can stop a bullet.” Asked whether life can ever return to some semblance of normalcy, Butler replied, “Nobody’s ever going to get back into the routine. You have to ask yourself, ‘What is normal?’ You never forget the guys who were killed that day, or the people you tried to get out.” “For me, this is the new normal,” D’Agostino said. “My life has been changed drastically.” “We can’t describe to you the devastation,” Meldrum said. “As bad as it looked on TV, pictures don’t begin to do it justice.” The Port Authority, which oversees the city’s public transportation system, lost 37 officers that day, including Lim’s canine partner, Sirius. One thing is very clear to David Lim and the firefighters. They know that because they had helped one woman in distress on that day of September 11, 2001 their lives had been spared. They also know it is the work of God.


“This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.” (Tit. 3:8)


“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” (Gal. 6:9-10)



May God bless You



First public hearing of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States


Statement of David Lim to the
National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States
March 31, 2003        



This article is the research project of Paul Wong
for publication in the ARK Forum on September 11, 2003.

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Paul Wong is a Christian minister and the President of ARK International.
His ministry also serves as an architectural service company in Houston.
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