Posts Tagged 9/11 anniversary

9/11 anniversary ceremony in Chicago

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Reflections about 9/11/01

This from John Tobin:

Rather than work on something I should be doing, I chose to do this instead … drats.

Wondering how Elgin, IL could be attached somehow to the September 11th attacks in New York? Attached is a post from another site. It tells the story of four Elgin firefighters (three now retired) and their trip to the East Coast on a mission to deliver a new fire truck. The truck that was built for the FDNY was almost ready to be delivered when the attacks occurred.

Along for the ride, were many very specially made cards of sympathy and concern from some very young (and some older too) citizens of Elgin.

When we were ready to leave Elgin for New York, the entire front of the cab was filled, not only with the cards, but posters and food items for the trip. It’s not too often that you get to see something like this and I will never forget it. I’ve never seen Elgin this united. On the way home after dropping the truck off, we stopped and posted them for all to see.

Read on:

Interesting comments on replacement vehicles for FDNY after 911-01.

There was an order for multiple aerials at Seagrave (SFA) that was trickling out of the factory in Wisconsin during that time frame. One of the most dedicated employees at SFA at that time was Glenn Bennett, a delivery driver with a huge heart. He delivered an aerial just before the attacks and was stranded there. As we all know, the airlines had been shut down.

I called him wondering what was up. He mentioned that he couldn’t get back and, for multiple reasons, SFA was having trouble getting a driver to bring the next aerial out. He said he was at the FDNY shops working on cleaning up rigs, helping install windshields and such to try and get rigs back in service. I immediately called SFA, and since I had driven rigs for them over the years, the dispatcher took me up on my offer … going out with a chase vehicle and three other firefighters from home. The truck was going to be ready on Saturday by noon. What started out as an urgent need to get the rig delivered, turned into a media goodwill tour of sorts to which many at SFA didn’t embrace. I was in trouble for a long time.

After getting the truck to IL late that evening, we set out for NY and drove straight thru. A dilemma was brewing, as the guys wanted to work at ground zero and we were going to arrive in the middle of the night. I wanted to meet up with Glenn (which never happened) and work at the shops, even if it was just sweeping the floors. We decided to take the rig to ground zero and leave at first light for the drop off point in South Plainfield. Not only were they in dire need of the truck, it was also loaded with spare parts. We were met at ground zero with interest and our group was interviewed on radio and even squawk box on CNN. At first light there was gridlock and quite a jaunt to get out of the city. The rig arrived safe and sound and we stayed two days to work “the pile”. As much as the grandstanding comments from some which hurt me very much, that was never our intent, as this turned out to be a creature in its own right. It was always about our FDNY brothers.

PS Glenn you were a hero in your own right. Rest in peace my dear friend.

Seagrave ladder truck being delivered to NYC immediately following the attacks of 9/11/01

All ready to leave EFD station #2….let’s roll.

Seagrave ladder truck being delivered to NYC immediately following the attacks of 9/11/01

Somewhere on I-80….Ohio perhaps.

Seagrave ladder truck being delivered to NYC immediately following the attacks of 9/11/01

Just arriving at ground zero trying to find a safe spot to park.

FDNY Ladder 3 pulled from the rubble of the 9/11 terrorist attacks

The now famous L-3 rolls passed. Interesting how the derbies hang off the truck from the offices of the world trade center…..inclusive of a cord and receiver from someone’s desk. L-3 is now on static display at the memorial. Wonder if ” Jeff we will not forget you” is still on the back door?

the World Trade Center on the night of 9/11/01

Taking it all in as a tower ladder still flows water and parts of what are left of the world trade center rise up high into the night sky.

the World Trade Center on the morning of 9/12/01

The night begins to give up it’s darkness and the complete picture will be in view soon.

aftermath of the attacks of 9/11/01 seen on 9/12/01

An FDNY officer overlooks “the pile” as it was to be called. At various points bucket brigades were set up to sift thru the derbies for anything that could be recovered. It was anyone’s guess what might be in the ground up derbies….. I have never since looked upon a plastic bucket the same as before 911.

Firefighter with new fire truck at the World Trade Center on 9/12/01

My chase driver readies our final route to safely deliver the rig, which was loaded with much needed spare parts for the rigs that would be salvaged. Later he would uncover a fire fighter on “the pile” and alert the FDNY team to remove the remains.

memorials outside a NYC fire station on 9/12/01

The look on the fire fighter’s face says it all….I didn’t get a chance to say hello….his “T” shirt said Las Vegas FD on the back. There were fire fighters from all over the country that came to New York after the attacks. Many were frustrated as there was nothing they could do…..I felt fortunate to have had a task to complete.

cards are posted at a fire station after the attacks of 9/11/01

Up go more cards from the Elgin school kids….not one was missed.

FDNY Ladder 11 one year after the attacks of 9/11/01

A year later some of us returned to visit where the truck ended up. Eleven Truck as it is called is in the Alphabet city section of New York, not far from where the world trade center stood. The burned ladder sign on the front of the station, was recovered off their wrecked truck.

FDNY Ladder 11 after the attacks of 9/11/01

The front mural says it all.

Firefighters with American Flag at ground zero on 9/12/01

They promised they would never forget

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Palatine FD host 9/11 Memorial Ceremony

Palatine FD hosts 9/11 Memorial Ceremony

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Chicago FD 9/11 Memorial Ceremony 9/11/18

This from Steve Redick:

Chicago FD 9/11 memorial ceremony

Steve Redick photo

Chicago FD 9/11 memorial ceremony

Steve Redick photo


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Palatine FD host 9/11 Memorial Ceremony

Palatine FD 9/11 Memorial Ceremony

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Palatine FD host 9/11 Memorial Ceremony

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Decatur Fire Department news

Excerpts from

Do you remember where you were on September 11, 2001? Most Americans can still recall exactly what they were doing when they heard the news.

Now, we are two weeks away from the 16th anniversary of the tragedy. New York Firefighter Tim Duffy, remembers every second of what he was doing when he found out the World Trade Center had been attacked.

Duffy says, “That morning I was actually doing a tune up on the bike, and I had a spark plug out when I heard the first explosion. It sounded far away and I wasn’t working so I continued working on the bike, but then I heard sirens and the sirens didn’t stop after 10, 15, 20 seconds they just got  more and more. So I knew something happened so I ran into the house to call the fire house to see what was going on. As I reached for the phone it started ringing, my wife was dropping off my kids at the Y for pre-k, and she said a plane just hit the World Trade Center. I lived right on the beach near the horizontal bridge, and I could see it from my kitchen window so I turned and saw the North tower burning. So I was trying to get off the phone to go and of course she was telling me ‘You’re off today, you don’t have to go.’ And she’s trying to keep me there and then the second plane hit, and so I told her I gotta go, I’ll see you later.”

Duffy might be known for being one of the many firefighters on scene that day, but he is also known for a picture that was snapped of him riding his motorcycle through an empty, debris-filled street on his way to the destruction.

The picture brings back his memories, “It’s right when I got off the Brooklyn Bridge. It’s right behind the Millennium hotel, which across the street from the North Tower. I made that turn and when you look at the picture you can see a ray of light coming from the East. I made the right hand turn to head to the Trade Center which was a block. Actually when I got to the corner of Church, there was an engine from one of the planes that was all banged up and it was standing upright on it’s cone. It was very surreal and real.”

Tim says it was his sole job to keep people safe. He says, “People were dying and I had a job to do. It’s just that simple. I lost 50 friends in the first hour, 343 boys I worked with and were losing on average about 2-3 boys a month to cancer. Just last week we lost 4 guys in one week.”

Duffy reluctantly retired from the fire department in 2004 after he says he hid from medical as long as he could. Now, Tim is in Central Illinois visiting a friend who introduced him to Riki Dial, a Carpenters Local volunteer for the Decatur 9/11 Memorial.

Riki says, “It was a freak chance, a freak opportunity. I was at home yesterday, Sunday afternoon. My next door neighbor Mark Teak came over and told me ‘Hey I’ve got someone over here I’d really like to introduce you to.’ So I went over and had a beer with Mark and Tim and listened to Tim’s story and just how amazing it was. I kept thinking how it would tie in very good with the memorial that we’re building here in Decatur.”

So Tim headed to Nelson Park and was amazed and thankful that Decatur will continue to remember the lives lost on that tragic day of September 11, 2001.

Today, Tim says he wants to continue helping people, so now he is a part of 1 Soldier, 1 Dog, 1 Team, a 501 C (3) that pairs veterans with PTSD with dogs. He says they do not buy dogs, but they get them from shelters, so at the end of the day, they save a soldier and a dog.

Tim Duffy says he hopes to come back to Decatur once the Memorial is completed to see it lit up.

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9/11 Anniversary – stories

Excerpts from the

About three years ago, Chuck Wehrli said he started hearing the conspiracy theories. The retired Naperville Fire Department captain responded to New York City in the days after the terrorist attacks of 9/11/01. Since then, each fall he talks to students at Neuqua Valley High School about his experiences among the detritus of the World Trade Center.

Each year, fewer kids remembered the day airplanes flew into the twin towers. As such, Wehrli said he hears more and more voices each year questioning whether two passenger airplanes really did fly into the Manhattan towers. This September, the students he spoke to were all of one year old when the attacks happened.

Wehrli responded as a member of a search and rescue team out of Missouri. So far, he hasn’t suffered side effects from inhaling dust that, in following years, caused serious health problems for many.

He remembered helping to pull a body from the wreckage that turned out to be a New York firefighter who gave him a patch off his hat seven years earlier.

Harder than pulling out bodies, was seeing faces of the firefighters that survived.

He makes sure to mention Dan Shanower in his presentation. The Naperville Central graduate died when a passenger jet hit the Pentagon on the same day as the attacks on the twin towers. A friend of Wehrli’s and Fairfax County firefighters found Shanower’s body in Washington D.C.

thanks Dan

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9/11 Anniversary – stories

Excerpts from the

Nothing could prepare them for the unthinkable. But as they stood by the rubble, a New York City fire chief introduced them to 16 acres of destruction that once was the World Trade Center. The New York chief laid out a few ground rules when the group arrived at ground zero. Only FDNY crews could move the body of one of their own.

“Your company goes and gets you and brings you out,” said Bob Hoff, now Carol Stream’s fire chief and then a district chief in Chicago,  of a point of pride in the fire service. “And that’s what New York did. They carried their own people out.”

A group of 87 firefighters from Chicago and the suburbs volunteered in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. They took 10- to 12-hour shifts at ground zero and tried to sleep on the sidewalk a few blocks away. And yet, despite the emotional toll, they call it an honor, a privilege to help their friends in New York.

Outside the city’s fire academy, they packed trucks and vans with gear, saws, bottles of water. By a stroke of luck, Chicago firefighters had switched into new breathing apparatus. Hoff and his crew brought the older style, the same kind used by a New York department devastated by the loss of lives and equipment in the collapse of the twin towers.

“We’d come back from the site and go to where we were stationed, and there would be nurses there just to clear your eyes out, all the dust in your eyes,” Hoff said.

Hoff also speaks of trying to find the good after a tragedy. When he was 5, his father, a Chicago battalion chief, was killed battling a fire in an apartment building on Valentine’s Day 1962.

“You can have grief, but your life goes on. You’ve got to make something positive out of things,” Hoff said. “I know every one of those guys who were killed were probably thinking that for their families, their wives.

After five days, they headed home to Chicago. Hoff wished they “could have done more.” Schneidwind was “heartbroken” to leave. Both knew the job was far from over.

thanks Dan

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9/11 Anniversary – stories

Excerpts from the

On Sept. 11, 2001, Lloyd Miller … watched the World Trade Center towers crumble and his future came into focus. Miller enrolled in classes to become a firefighter … and iIn 2005, he was sworn in as a Mount Prospect firefighter/paramedic.

Just as 9/11 propelled some men and women to join the military or police forces, that infamous day and the heroism shown by many at the scene inspired a new wave of interest in firefighting.

Elgin firefighter/paramedic Kanen Terry, who is one of those people. He was 18 on 9/11. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy and spent two six-month tours of duty in the Persian Gulf. In the Navy, he says, “everyone’s a firefighter” and he learned a lot about chemical warfare and hazardous materials. That knowledge, plus a 9/11-fueled desire to help others, led him to become a firefighter in 2009.

For Christopher Clausen, Sept. 11 intensified a desire to serve others.  Clausen, a lieutenant with the Elgin Fire Department, became the first in his family to join the fire service.

For Des Plaines firefighter Kevin Murphy, 9/11 made him re-evaluate his life and consider a firefighting career.

thanks Dan

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