Color Photograph -
Ground Zero – 9/12/2001
This photo of me was taken by one of my crew as we were working near the collapse of the South Tower ; sometime in the early afternoon on 9/12/2001
I had the constant feeling that I was part of history ;much like what the veterans of the attack on Pearl Harbor must have felt.
My department has one of the most experienced technical rescue teams in the state.We responded to the collapse before noon on 9/11 with a 25 man team. I was sent over at 5:00 am on 9/12 to relieve the commanding officer, fresh rescue crews were to follow in a few hours. I will never forget the trip into Manhattan .I went over alone in a department car. I was the only one the State Police allowed into the entrance of the Holland Tunnel. The approach to the tunnel is about 14 lanes wide , all of which were closed and barricaded by buses from the National Guard . The area was protected by hundreds of soldiers in full battle gear. They moved the buses to let me through. The soldiers stood aside with their automatic weapons ready, their Captain saluted me as I passed.
This was scary, like I was driving into the middle of a science fiction movie. It had an unreal and very surreal feeling to it.
My department worked at Ground Zero from the afternoon of 9/11 until the afternoon of 9/15. I spent about 40 hours working there during this period. By 9/15, NYFD , FEMA, and the National Guard took over the incident and the rescue workers from all the other departments were sent home, and there were thousands of them. I was there on Wednesday night on 9/12 when one of the surviving firefighters was rescued from the debris . A cheer from the rescuers went around the site , and a feeling of hope spread across the devastated landscape.
Dedicated to all those who were lost.