Remembering Our Heroes: The Brave People on 9/11

There were many individuals that performed heroic acts during and after the tragedies of 9/11. These heroic acts were both large and small and were performed by regular individuals as well as those with special training. These individuals were unconcerned with their own safety or comforts, but went out instead to help others escape the buildings, prevent another attack, or helped to clear away dead bodies, rubble, and dust after the attack. Their stories, like the incident itself, should be remembered.

Welles Crowther was 24 years old, living in Upper Nyack, New York. He worked on the 104th floor of the South tower. He took charge and directed individuals to stairways, helping those trapped to get out. He did not think of himself but only of helping others. Dozens of individuals have attributed that without this young man they would not have made it out of the tower. Individuals remember Welles due to the red bandana over his mouth and nose. Many of these individuals did not know the name of this man until the New York Times ran an article that described Welles. Unfortunately Welles did not make it out of the tower as his body was discovered in March 2002, but many remember his courageous acts.

The firefighters that went to the towers to fight the fires and help individuals. Of these fire fighters were volunteers, newly trained fire fighters and those that were experienced in fighting fires. Many of those working within the FDNY that day were trapped within rubble and died when the towers collapsed. More than 343 firefighters perished at the World trade center. More than half the members of Ladder 3 were lost, many were not even on duty that day but came in to help.

Some unsung heroes of 9/11 are the rescue dogs. These dogs were trained specifically to search through rubble and find individuals. The dogs do not wear booties as they need their claws for traction and in many cases crushed glass hurt their paws. Many dogs lost their footing and were badly injured or died. The dust and smoke irritated the dog’s eyes. These dogs were critical to saving those buried in the towers and rubble and many people owe their lives to the rescue dogs. More than 100 trained rescue dogs were sent to ground zero and worked for as much as 10 days finding survivors and bodies among the rubble.

Several passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 attempted to stop the hijackers. Their deeds were made known through phone calls to family as well as through the black box recordings. These individuals called friends and family and asked them to call authorities. While the exact actions of these individuals are unknown it is thought that their actions were key to having the plane crash in a field rather than into the Pentagon or another building. These individuals knew in the end that they were going to die and decided to take action rather than let the hijackers stay in control.

Special Agent Leonard Hatton responded immediately to the emergency situation when he saw fire and smoke from the World Trade Center. While everyone else was trying to leave the building, he was going in, helping those that were hurt or trapped. Hatton radioed the FBI of what was going on and then pitched in to help. He was a volunteer firefighter and a Marine. He joined the FBI to help fight crime and died when the towers collapsed.

Many low wage workers went into ground zero in the days following 9/11 and began clearing up the dust and debris. Much of this dust turned out to be hazardous to these individuals health as many have developed asthma and high blood pressure. Many of these individuals were undocumented immigrants that came in to clean up the dust and stop it from blowing up and away. These individuals tend to be forgotten when others think of the heroes of 9/11, but without their help, many more individuals may have been effected by the dust and these individuals deserve to be recognized and remembered.

Many women were heroes during this time. Women that lost loved ones in 9/11 were the focal point of the news and media. But there was also many women that acted heroically to help others. These women include rescue workers, nurses, doctors, chaplains, NYPD officers, FDNY officers and others that simply brought food and supplies to those that needed it or helped friends and neighbors that were left homeless. Some women that died in the Pentagon or when the towers collapsed include Lt. Col. Karen Wagner, Samantha Allen, Rosemary Chapa, Beth Ann Quigley and Arlene Babkitis to name a few.

Learn more about the heroes of 9/11:

Honoring the Heroes of 9/11 – On the 10th anniversary of 9/11 many get together to remember those that died during Flight 93 and in New York City.

Welles Crowther – A young man that worked in the tower and helped many individuals escape by taking charge and providing direction to those that needed help.

FDNY Ladder 3 – More than half of those that worked at Ladder 3 died in the towers, hear about their stories and how the FDNY Company is fairing today.

Rescue Dogs of 9/11 – Many specially trained dogs were brought into ground zero to search for those trapped in the buildings and rubble.

5 Heroes to Remember – Discover the stories of 5 individuals that were heroes during the 9/11 attacks.

9/11 Health Bill – A health bill was passed offering care to those that worked to clean up the rubble and those that were injured or hurt during these attacks.

Unsung Heroes of 9/11 – Many low wage workers cleaned up the dust after 9/11 and were largely ignored when people recall those heroes from this day.

Female 9/11 First Responders – Discover those women heroes that were largely forgotten among the other heroes and individuals that risked their lives to help others.

United Heroes of Flight 93 – Those individuals that attempted to take action in the few minutes before flight 93 crashed.

Heroes of September 11 – Short biographies of those victims that died but helped others.

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