“On a day when buildings fell, heroes rose. We will never forget their sacrifice,” FDNY Chief Fennessy told an audience assembled at a remembrance for September 11, 2001 two years ago. First responders ran toward danger, and 412 of them did not return. There were also heroes among the 2,565 civilians who died, some of whom raced to help their coworkers and died trying get them out of the buildings.
There were people who willingly sacrificed their lives to stop what they understood was a terror attack in a hijacked plane called Flight 93. “Let’s roll” became the reminder of their heroism as they grabbed a refreshment cart and slammed into the cockpit. No one knows for sure what happened after that other than the plane crashed in a Pennsylvania field with only the deaths of 44 passengers, including the hijackers. The terrorists did not complete their mission, thanks to Tom Burnett, Todd Beamer, Mark Bingham, Jeremy Glick, and the stewardesses who helped them.
There were 300 dogs that relentlessly searched through dangerous toxic rubble for days to find survivors. Through bloodied paws, dehydration and sleepless nights, they worked as hard as their human handlers. One labrador retriever, Moxie, was so upset that she couldn’t find anyone alive that she thought she was a failure. Firefighters had to hide themselves in the rubble so she could find them to calm her down.
The last surviving 911 search dog, Bretagne, was put to sleep in 2016. She entered the hospital through a tunnel of saluting officers.
“Those dogs brought the power of hope. They removed the gloom for just an instant — and that was huge because it was a pretty dismal place to be.” Veterinarian Dr. Cindy Otto
Unsung Human Heroes
There was an Executive chef named Benjamin Keefe Clark who worked at the Fiduciary Trust Company. He was an 8 year Marine veteran. He is credited with saving hundreds of lives — he made sure that everyone in his department along with everyone else in the company’s 96th floor offices in the South Tower safely exited the building. And then he stopped to help a woman in a wheelchair on the 78th Floor. You know that Marines never leave anyone behind. He didn’t make it out of the building.
There was a tour guide, Army Spc. Beau Doboszenski, who tended to the wounded at the Pentagon. But he was trained as a firefighter and EMT so when a Navy Captain yelled for anyone with medical experience, he responded. With a team of others, he ran back into the inferno with them several times.
So many others so many heroes.
“On a day when buildings fell, heroes rose.” There were countless numbers of heroes not just among the first responders, but civilians working in the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. They were/are people who put others before themselves. Some died trying, others survived with the horrible memories of that day.
Those First Responders who died on 9-11-2001 included: 343 firefighters (including a chaplain and two paramedics) of the New York City Fire Department (FDNY); 37 police officers of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department (PAPD); 23 police officers of the New York City Police Department (NYPD); 8 Medical technicians and paramedics of private companies, and 1 patrol officer from the New York Fire Patrol.
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