This article was featured in Newsmax magazine's special 9/11 1st Anniversary edition published in 2002 and reprinted below. To receive a copy of this special edition with the "America Rises" photo that inspired a nation, please Click Here Now. Guy Warren, the firefighter/author pictured below, had his image on the cover of the magazine's first 9/11 anniversary issue.
I SAW THE SOUTH TOWER fall, and I almost fell of my motorcycle. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I had a very clear view of it, and it was just so surreal to see. At ground zero, I started digging through the rubble looking for anyone left alive. There was a huge circle where everything fell, and if you were in the circle, there was nothing moving — just total death.
And there was just no way to get at anybody. Too much torn steel — even cranes couldn’t lift it up. They had to cut through with torches, it was so twisted. I mean, there were only two or three survivors that got pulled out. A couple of fi refi ghters had been trapped in the staircase with a woman. And they lived through that. Other than that, there was nobody left.
Everybody was looking through tunnels and searching through underground passages and any way they could fi nd an inroad into the pile to see if there was anybody trapped, but there was just nobody left.On Thursday night, Sept. 13, they had set up a relief center on Chamber Street.
As I’m lying on this cot, this guy starts washing my eyes out with a saline solution because they’re crusted with concrete and dust. I open up my eyes, and it’s the actor from The Sopranos, Michael Imperioli. “What’re you doing here?” I ask him in amazement. “I’m just trying to help people,” he responds. Months later, while digging 60 feet down, to the very bottom, we found fi remen who were crushed.
They were from Ladder 40, Engine 35. Everybody was missing from both the ladder company and the engine company, and everyone knew they were going to be found. A lot of people were never found. One particular fi reman . . . we looked for months and months, and we never found him. Gone. Vaporized. No helmet, no coat — nothing.
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