On September 11, 2001 I was working a 0700 x 1515 tour at the NYPD Outdoor Range where I work as a Firearms Instructor. That day I was primary instructor for a 9mm transition class ( training officers who still carried revolvers to semi's ) It was as many have said a beautiful autumn morning , something I feel is a nice secret about NYC , that the best weather is always in the fall with moderate temperatures , little humidity and no more annoying mosquitos.
I took my class to Adam Range around 8 am to begin manual of arms drills and prepare for the morning shoot. Around 9 am I received a radio transmission from my boss to call in to base, at which time he told me that an airplane had struck one of the towers. My first impression was that a small private plane must have lost control , my boss kinda felt the same , there was no general alarm , no reason to think it was anything other than an accident.
I went back to my class picking up where I left off . About 15 minutes later my Boss called and told me to have all trainees report to the class and all instructors to report to base.
After instructing my class what to do I made my way back to base and wondered what was going on. We arrived there and I immediately knew something was seriously wrong when I saw the expression on my bosses face. He then told us what we all know now ( the second tower had been hit )including the possibility that there had also been other attacks in washington DC and in Manhattan. He immediately ordered all Instructors to suit up as we were mobilizing and executing our base Mutual Assistance Plan for joint protection of the base. I ran out towards our Arsenal when I heard a tremendous roar of jets right over our heads maybe 1,500 ft of the deck. I looked up and saw two F-15 Eagles headed straight towards Manhattan. I remember getting chills at the sight of military fighter plans over NYC something that just does not happen.
As I raced to the arsenal I thought of my family , where they ok? How far had these attacks gone? My daughter only 5 yrs old at the time would be afraid...
I suited up and received an MP5A3 with 5 magazines joined up with my partner ( who was carrying an Ithaca M37 12 gauge shotgun )and raced to our assigned post to meet two other Instructors . When we arrived we set up the M60 and got all the belts set up from the cans. I tried my cell phone and of course it did'nt work, no one's did.
I spent the next several days working 14 hrs a day until it was felt that their would be no other attacks. I then reported to ground zero where I would work 12 hour days for the next week, it would be an assignment that would mark my soul forever.
A many have reported before , you could not imagine the enormity of the damage from the tv coverage. It was as if a small nuclear bomg had gone off , I know the trade center area well from the time I was a kid going there on a school trip to taking dates to eat at windows of the world , the restaurant on top of one of the towers. But it was unrecognizable , everything was gone.
When I get very angry I begin to shake with rage , this has happened very few times in my life. However I was to feel a rage and bitter hatred unknown to me. I could only thing of revenge as I helped lift rocks,debris and steel . It was only a couple of hours when we found our first body , something that broke my heart. It was a woman who had apparently been at her desk when the ceiling and floors above came down on her. She was cut in half , all we had of her was her lower body and an arm I could see her wedding band and thought of her family , she was some one's wife , some poor childs mom...
We found arms , legs , body parts as well as personal things such as purses , wallets and other things that held alot of personal info telling a short story of a person. I kept saying to myself the following words " They murdered my people " .
I also worked at the makeshift morgue helping carry bodies and remains in to be reviewed by the FBI and pathologists. It was one late afternoon when I heard the firemen where bringing in one of their own. The fireman was a good looking young man who had been on the FDNY's calender and on People magazine as a hunk. There was almost nothing left of him he was gone with very little to distinguish who he was other than his gear. I saw an interview on tv once on a local station where they asked him if he was going to take modeling seriously. He said "No Way , I have the best job in the world"
Everyday that I left ground zero I would see the families desperately waiting for news , I remember their eyes and the anguish on their face. I felt helpless.
I returned to my job after a week , however I don't think it would ever be business as usual.
If you ever hear someone second guess why we are at war please remond them that our people were brutally murdered.
Sad days indeed Jack. Be safe Brother.
Thank you for the work you do. And thanks for sharing your day.
i can't read any of these 9/11 remembrances without my entire body tingling in "pissed"
i sincerely hope every one of the murdering bastards involved in this burn in hell for eternity