It was a bright sunny morning,without a cloud in the sky. I had driven the my Union headquarters early, in order to be a poll-watcher that morning (it was the Primary for the upcoming mayoral & state elections) We loaded into a van & were headed across the 59th St. Bridge when someone said:" hey look! The World Trade Center's on Fire!" We looked over, saw the smoke & turned on the radio to hear the announcer say "A small plane has crashed into the World Trade Center" I looked around & said to noone in particular " Either this guy had a heart attack, was the World's Worst Pilot or it was deliberate."
thus began my involvement with the WTC. I did Many, many different things, set up, organized & ran an aid/evacuation center in the Staten Island ferry terminal, treated the first responders that managed to escape the 1st tower collapsing, commandeered a city bus, evacuated victims out of liberty plaza (before it collapsed)- and that's just the first day!
This is the 9th anniversary of the attacks. and as we go on, it becomes framed by the experiences of everybody. In my own case, it means I have "bilateral, sub segmental atelectasis", a condition I'm told needs nothing more then monitoring, but has reduced my lung tidal volume. Where this will leed, no one knows I hope to make it into retirement, am planning for it in fact but I may not. I hope that maybe I'll be the Lucky one but also knowing how cruelly the city is treating WTC responders, I know I will have a Long, Uphill Battle in which their entire Goal & Strategy will be to delay Everything until I'm at Death's very Door, so they won't have to pay anything out, other then the benefits they would normally pay if I died while working .
For those of you who may be thinking to yourselves: " they wouldn't do that!" The last couple of EMS employees to be retired 3/4 salary from the WTC -NEVER LIVED LONG ENOUGH TO CASH THEIR FIRST RETIREMENT CHECK! New York City is a Cruel Mistress, make no mistake. I can't write anymore.