It’s difficult not to walk through the city with a somber feeling on this day. Fourteen years have passed since the September 11th attack on the twin towers. As we reflect on this tragic time in American history, here are some heroes we should remember for their bravery:
1. Moira Smith
Moira Smith was on the force for 13 years in New York City, before she made the ultimate sacrifice on September 11th, 2001. She is pictured here bringing someone to safety, before she would go back into the burning building to rescue more people. She did not turn away in the face of danger, and she was posthumously awarded the City Police Department’s Medal of Honor for her courage.
2. Welles Crowther
Welles Crowther was an investment banker who worked on the 104th floor of the South Tower, and had worked as a volunteer firefighter. When the tower was struck, he began to help people evacuate. He re-entered the building at least 3 times, and was unable to make it out when the tower ultimately collapsed. He is credited with saving at least 18 lives that day.
3. Ronald Bucca
Ronald Bucca served in the Army for 29 years and was a firefighter for 23 years. He is the only fire marshall in New York ever to die in the line of duty. He responded to the attack on the World Trade Center, entered the south tower, and began to help people evacuate. He made it to the 78th floor before the building collapsed.
4. Leonard Hatt0n
Leonard Hatten was an FBI agent who was on his way to work when he saw smoke and fire coming from the North Tower. He wasn’t tasked with responding to emergencies, but he still went into the tower to start evacuating people. He continued to help people to safety until the building collapsed.
5. Tom Burnett
Tom Burnett was a passenger on United Airlines Flight 93, which was hijacked on September 11th and ultimately crashed in a field in Pennsylvania, leaving no survivors. Tom was one of a small group of passengers who fought back against the plane’s hijackers. It is generally accepted that United 93 was intended to hit the White House or the Capitol Building. Thanks to the heroism of Tom and other passengers, the nation’s capital was spared the carnage that New York City faced.
These are just five of the many heroes who demonstrated incredible courage fourteen years ago. We will hold them, and all 3,000 lives lost on this day, in our hearts forever.