Do you remember where you were when you first heard the news on that day in 2001? I was in the car, listening to the radio. The announcer casually said a plane had flown into one of the World Trade Center towers. I imagined a Cessna had flown into the side of the tower and called my wife at work to tell her about it. At that time I was only a few blocks from home. When I got into the house I turned on the TV and again phoned my wife. I was glued to the television for the rest of that day.
Like many people around the world I watched in horror as the two towers collapsed. We have all heard the numbers – 2,603 individuals perished in th collapse of the twin towers that day. Of those lives lost there were 343 members of the FDNY. What we don’t hear enough of; over 17,000 people went home to their loved ones following 9/11 because of 343 firefighhters that ran into the jaws of death instead of running away.
Last night 60 Minutes dedicated their entire show to heroes of the Fire Department of New York City (FDNY). They interviewed first responders that had survived and showed footage that I have never seen before. You could hear commentary of people in the command centre on site. The eerie sound of a dispatcher calling for any commander on site of the WTC after the collapse and hearing only silence.
Firefighters ran up the stairs of the towers to help people they didn’t even know come down. Because of their brave actions more than 17,000 lives were saved.
60 Minutes also interviewed the children of first responders that lost their life that day. 60 of those children are currently serving with FDNY.
Honour the memory of these heroes and spend 45 minutes of your time to watch the 60 Minute broadcast here