Retired New York City firefighter Tim Brown told Newsmax that Americans should learn the ''whole truth'' about the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon that killed almost 3,000 people 20 years ago Saturday.
''I'm kind of looking forward. I think now the 20 years [anniversary) is here. And I want to forward to educating the next generations about the whole truth of 9/11, including the bad stuff, including the heroes, so they won't the same mistakes that we made 20 years ago,'' Brown said Tuesday on ''The Chris Salcedo Show." ''The police officers and firefighters of the next generation will be the ones who are murdered from Islamic terrorism.''
Twenty radical Islamic terrorists from the al-Qaida organization used box cutters to hijack four passenger airplanes from Boston and Newark, New Jersey, the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.
Two of the planes struck each of the two World Trade Center towers in Manhattan, and one plane hit the Pentagon outside Washington.
A fourth plane heading to Washington was taken back over by the passengers but crashed in western Pennsylvania.
More than 2,500 people and 300 police and firefighters were killed when the two skyscrapers collapsed.
Brown was one of the firefighters digging through the rubble at ''ground zero'' in New York looking for survivors.
Despite finding only a handful of people still alive, Brown said the unity expressed among U.S. citizens in the days immediately following the attacks made him proud to be an American.
''As for unification, and being together and loving America, I think we've lost that,'' he said. ''I would love to see that come back. It was very gratifying to leave [ground zero] after digging through the rubble all day, and go up the West Side Highway, with hundreds of thousands of people waving American flags and having that say ‘we love you’ and ‘thank you.’ Those were the times I was most proud to be an American, and I haven't seen a lot of that lately.''
Brown said that while there is still much to learn, communication between federal, state and local law enforcement is much better today than it was 20 years ago, and poor communication may have contributed to the hijackers being able to carry out the attacks.
''I think we're much better than we were 20 years ago,'' he said. ''I know for a fact that the intelligence communities and the law enforcement communities are sharing much better than they were pre 9/11. I've been a part of that world, and I've witnessed the success of doing it right.''
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