A Firefighter’s View on the September 11th Terrorist Attack

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Kitchener Waterloo Record: Opinion Wednesday, September 11th 2002 page A10

AFreihers Reflection I will never be the same

This article is about a New York firefighter, Kevin Flaherty, who was involved in the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centers. Kevin has been on the Fire Department of New York for eight years. We honor him because he is thankful for the support he received from the Canadian Firefighters. He proudly wears an American-Canadian flag pin. Kevin was working on September 11th with Engine 238, which was called to Tower 2.

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He recalls hearing loud explosive noises while approaching the building, and to his shock, realized that people were falling from the other floors. The explosive noises were people hitting the ground; it was incessant, they kept jumping. He haunted by the fact that people who were on fire were alive until they fell to their deaths. After Kevin entered the building, he received news that one of his friends had been killed by a jumper. A group of firefighters were ordered to ascend two floors above the fire in Tower 2; they were to carry air cylinders, and if they got too exhausted, they were supposed to shed their equipment and keep going up. As he neared the burning floors, he remembers hearing a loud rumbling noise. The lights flickered, and a gust hit them; Kevin was lifted off his feet and flung across the lobby into a wall. It felt similar to an atomic blast. He was disoriented and couldn’t see or hear anything. Then in the darkness, he heard someone call, “Engine 238, Engine 238.” The lieutenant was gathering them. They found an exit and noticed the tower was beginning to collapse. Though he attempted to run, he knew he couldn’t escape the debris. Miraculously, he survived the debris without a scratch, but the lieutenant was nowhere to be seen. It was Kevin’s most difficult experience; the lieutenant had saved their lives, and Kevin was the last one to see him. His life will never be the same.

I believe Kevin’s experience is a profound life-changer. Imagine being both outside and inside the burning trade centers. Outside, people are falling to their deaths, and inside the building is burning uncontrollably. It was a merciless act of murder on innocent citizens. The number of victims is staggering, as is the courage demonstrated by the firefighters who entered the burning buildings to rescue people. Some firefighters never returned home that day. It’s haunting to return to the fire department and know that you were the last one to see the lieutenant. I believe that any firefighter who entered the burning trade centers is among the most courageous people on this planet. They ventured in, knowing full well they might not come out.

September 11th was a tragic day. It was needless for so many innocent people to be attacked like that. With no warning, it’s shockingly frightening to realize that a plane filled with more innocent people could be turned into a suicide bomb, killing everyone on board. I will never forget that day, as the world halted and watched live as the second plane crashed into the other tower. What kind of monster brainwashes people to sacrifice their lives to attack a country, murdering so many innocent individuals? My birthday falls two days after this horrific event, and each year, I will take a moment to remember that those who perished in the towers will no longer have birthdays due to this dreadful act of violence.

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A Firefighter's View on the September 11th Terrorist Attack. (2022, Nov 10). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/a-firefighters-view-on-the-september-11th-terrorist-attack/