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Personal stories from September 11, 2001

There are no words, even images, that can fully capture the devastation of September 11, 2001. For those of us who were not on the scene that day, we can only imagine what it must have been like for first responders to face 16 acres of horror at Ground Zero, to see a symbol of America’s military on fire, and to descend upon a Pennsylvania field covered in pieces of an airliner. Those who did face these unimaginable scenes have graciously shared their unique insights. It is through their eyes that we reflect on the 20th anniversary of September 11, 2001.

“The aim of this project is to share, with humility and grace, the family members’ journeys,” said Richard Wiesel
Moving to Marine Operations helped me stay engaged, process the day and build a fleet capable of protecting New York City
How the NFFF sprang into action to serve New York City firefighters – and ultimately grew its mission
The Ground Zero operation led to advances in incident management that continue to evolve for today’s complex and extreme events
After 9/11, Dan Rowan, a 21-year FDNY veteran, moved from New York to Arizona to become a fourth-generation police officer – a change he says got him through some of his darkest days
Port Authority Officer Will Jimeno, who was trapped in the World Trade Center rubble, shares what he has learned from his recovery post-9/11
Through a series of portraits, Kate Bergen hopes to elevate the stories and recognition of the women who answered the call on that September day
Even after FDNY Firefighter Lee Ielpi’s son was recovered from the World Trade Center rubble, he kept searching – and embarked on a mission to educate
Podcast hosts Marc Bashoor, Rob Lawrence, Chris Cebollero and Jim Dudley address how 9/11 affected all facets of public safety
We are thankful that the 9/11 stair climb events serve as a vehicle for firefighters across the country to gather and remember their fallen brothers
Retired FDNY Firefighter Lee Ielpi’s mission to collect and share WTC steel focuses on remembrance and education
Along the 500-mile trek from the Pentagon to Shanksville to New York City, I share Stephen’s story and the Tunnel to Towers message
We must not only “never forget” those who died, but also never forget to stay safe, plan for the worst and to make swift decisions despite challenging parameters
Shanksville Chief Terry Shaffer reflects on how his family is inextricably linked to the tragedy – and how they continue to honor the victims and the community
The chief shares his personal 9/11 story, plus the measures employed to reduce LODDs and the support systems that helped in the aftermath
This resource details how incident command unfolded at the scene, the immediate work to support FDNY, and how the tragedy changed the survivors forever
Chief Freddie LaFemina recalls the unimaginable scene at Ground Zero and the relentless work to find his brother firefighters
‘My job was to try as best I could to explain what was going on and put it in perspective’
The FDNY 343 Ride supports the veterans that took the fight overseas after 9/11
Years of preplanning aided the incident command of an MCI, building fire, technical rescue, hazmat, and terrorism crime scene all in one
Readers share their photos of the World Trade Center steel in their communities
As the newly installed IAFC president, I suddenly faced a new fire service focus on terrorism and preparedness
How I learned to accept a life without my father and trust that everything happens for a reason
My dad will always be a hero but so are my mom and the people from the firefighter community who have supported us
Chief Bashoor considers what the fire service has learned since 9/11 and what more we can do to honor our fallen brothers
Detailing how fire departments and fire service organizations will mark the most tragic day in fire service history and honor the 343
From riding the WTC elevators as a kid to responding to Ground Zero and all the connections along the way
Official statistics show that 343 firefighters lost their lives on that day, but there were really 344