13 heroes to remember 13 years later
For all the men and women who were killed during the 9/11 attacks, there were countless lives saved by the bravery of others
By Ben Pugh
For all the poor men and women who were killed during the terror attack on our country, there were countless lives saved by the bravery of others. From firefighters to company chefs, the heroes came from all walks of life. Today, on the 13th anniversary of 9/11, we honor 13 heroes who must never be forgotten.
1. Moira Smith, NYPD
Smith was the only female officer among the 23 NYPD cops who died on 9/11. She led countless injured people from the twin towers. But, in the end, died with so many other heroes in the effort to rescue more.
2. Benjamin Clark, chef, former Marine
This former Marine and chef at the Fiduciary Trust Company is credited with saving hundreds of lives, making sure that everyone on the 96th floor safely exited the building. He then paused on the 78th floor to assist a woman in a wheelchair. He perished when the building collapsed.
3. Danny Lewin, internet entrepreneur, former Israeli Army Special Forces
Lewin, an American-Israeli, was aboard the American Airlines Flight 11 plane out of Boston headed for Los Angeles when it was hijacked by the terrorists. He was a veteran of the Special Forces of the Israeli Army, fluent in Arabic, and therefore; knew exactly what the terrorists plans were. He tried to single-handedly stop the terrorists and was stabbed to death aboard the plane.
4. Leonard Hatton FBI, former Marine, volunteer firefighter
Special Agent Hatton was on his way to work in the New York Division office when he saw smoke and fire coming from the North Tower of the WTC. He rushed down to the towers to join New York City firefighters in the evacuation effort. He was inside the building when it collapsed.
5. William Rodriguez, WTC maintenance worker
Rodriguez was in the basement of the North Tower when American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the tower. Having keys to all emergency exits, Rodriquez has been credited with bravely leading firefighters up the stairs, unlocking doors as they climbed, helping to save hundreds of people.
6. Welles Crowther, equity trader, former volunteer firefighter
His former training as a volunteer firefighter must have kicked in, as he saved as many as 18 lives, while serving aside members of the FDNY. He ultimately perished when he entered the building one last time before it collapsed. ESPN produced this fantastic documentary about this brave young man years later.
7. Rick Rescorla, Vietnam veteran, Morgan Stanley security
Rescorla, an expert disaster planner, and meticulous in his preparation, was credited in saving the lives of 2,687 Morgan Stanley employees, plus 250 office visitors. When he safely had them outside, he went back in to save more. He was one of only 13 Morgan Stanley employees who died on that day.
8. Thomas Burnett, president of Medical Device Company
On Sept. 11, he was on United Airlines Flight 93. After the plane was hijacked, he called his wife and found out about the attacks on the World Trade Center. He and a small group of other passengers formed a plan to regain the plane. The plane ultimately crashed in a rural area of Pennsylvania, but it is believed that Burnett and the other men probably saved that plane from its intended target of the White House or Capitol Building.
9. Officer John W. Perry, NYPD
(Photo courtesy of theagitator.com)
On the morning of Sept. 11, Officer Perry was filing his retirement papers at the precinct to then pursue his plan to become a medical malpractice lawyer. After hearing about the attacks, Perry ran several blocks to the World Trade Center to help in the rescue. Upon arriving, Perry helped a woman who had fainted, and then quickly ran into the South Tower right before it collapsed.
10. Ronald Bucca, N.Y. fire marshal, Army Special Forces
Bucca’s body was found in the rubble of the south tower. He must have placed his turnout coat protectively around several civilians, for it was later found still wrapped around them.
11 & 12. Jason Thomas, Marine, and Dave Karnes, former Marine
Karnes and Thomas rushed to the scene of the WTC shortly after the attack to help find any survivors. They didn’t know each other prior to arriving, but they are both credited with finding and helping to save two Port Authority police officers, trapped 20 feet below the rubble.
13. The rescue dogs
More than 300 dogs were used in the city’s rescue and recovery operation to search for survivors and find human remains. These dogs, like the many who helped in the recovery effort, were exposed to the physical hazards of Ground Zero, including sharp debris and unhealthy air.