10 setembro 2011

Bombeiro que Trabalhou no 11 de Setembro diz temer Novos Ataques

Os ataques ocorridos há dez anos resultaram em quase 3.000 vítimas; mais de 300 bombeiros novaiorquinos morreram tentando salvar vítimas dos atentados

Dez anos após atentados (AFP)
O oficial reformado do Corpo de Bombeiros de Nova York, Dan Daly, que trabalhou no resgate às vítimas do 11 de Setembro, disse nesta sexta-feira (9) que "teme um novo atentado terrorista" e que a sociedade norte-americana "é menos feliz" do que antes dos ataques. “Temo um novo atentado terrorista. Vai acontecer. Só temos que saber onde e quando”, alertou o capitão, durante uma videoconferência no Consulado Geral dos Estados Unidos no Rio de Janeiro.

“Precisamos eliminar as raízes dos terroristas. A sociedade americana é menos feliz do que era antes do 11 de setembro. Temos um temor no futuro, as fronteiras não são mais intransponíveis”, acrescentou.  “É uma lembrança difícil e triste neste dia que a humanidade sofreu tanta injúria. Nada muda tanto a vida de uma pessoa como um sentimento de horror. Hoje há um sentimento de frustração, cólera e vulnerabilidade”.

Os ataques ocorridos há dez anos resultaram em quase 3.000 vítimas; mais de 300 bombeiros novaiorquinos morreram tentando salvar vítimas dos atentados. Dan Daly serviu por 24 anos no Corpo de Bombeiros da Cidade de Nova York. Sobre o trabalho no dia 11 de setembro de 2001, ele contou que depois do trabalho, os bombeiros faziam orações: “Nós trabalhamos durante muitas horas sob os destroços e perdemos 343 companheiros que estavam nos resgates. A gente ia trabalhar e depois comparecia aos enterros dos colegas. Era um estado de exaustão que encontrávamos todos. Depois de trabalhar nos destroços a gente precisava rezar. Dizem que não há ateus nos lugares de combate, a gente precisava de um apoio divino. Foram três semanas seguidas de escavação dos destroços”.
O capitão lembrou que a qualidade do ar era péssima deixando doentes muitos bombeiros. “Nos disseram que havia pouco ar debaixo dos escombros, depois ficamos sabendo que o ar estava cheio de amianto e gases impuros. Muitos bombeiros depois tiveram diversos tipos de câncer. Durante muito tempo eu sofri com tosse.”
“Foi uma sombra de guerra que havia no Marco Zero. Foi ali que os terroristas decretaram guerra aos Estados Unidos. Nós precisávamos ser fortes e superar essa situação. O estado de choque de toda a população era evidente”, acrescentou. “Quando estava ali, eu vi o horror que a humanidade causou a si própria. A visão radical que tinham os terroristas.”
Após os ataques às Torres Gêmeas, Dan Daly tem sido convidado pelo Departamento de Estado norte-americano para fazer palestras pelo mundo. Ele já viajou por mais de cem cidades no mundo em países como Canadá, Chile, Nicarágua, Nepal, Guatemala, Hungria, Rússia, Afeganistão e Iraque para relatar a sua experiência. O Brasil, ele já visitou três vezes. Em julho deste ano, foi ao Complexo do Alemão e à Cidade de Deus para compartilhar suas lembranças com crianças de escolas públicas.

Divisão

Para o cônsul-geral dos EUA no Rio de Janeiro, Dennis Hearne, o 11 de Setembro foi um divisor de águas. “Com certeza esse dia é um ponto de divisão entre o mundo antes e o mundo depois, não só para os americanos. Temos que ver o que pode e deve ser feito para proteger a nossa civilização contra atos de violência. Nosso censo de segurança foi afetado de uma forma definitiva por esse evento tão trágico.”
Questionado se concordava com a visão do bombeiro de que um novo ataque terrorista é iminente, o diplomata admitiu a necessidade de ser “realista” sobre o perigo. “Sim, temos que nos proteger, estamos bem mais preparados hoje em dia nos Estados Unidos e, no mundo, trabalhamos junto com outros países para tentar reforçar a segurança e fazer o possível para proteger as nossas populações. Alguns ataques têm acontecido nesses últimos dez anos, mas acho que, em geral, tem sido uma história de sucesso em tentar evitar outros grandes ataques”.
Dennis Hearne destacou ainda que os EUA adotaram medidas mais rígidas de segurança. “Algumas são realmente inconvenientes, mas foram decisões tomadas à luz desse evento. Ao mesmo tempo queremos todos viver em liberdade e tolerância. Temos que medir o que fazer para nos proteger e também permanecer como uma sociedade aberta para o mundo inteiro.”

fonte: acritica.com

Pentágono, a tragédia escondida do 11 de Setembro



As imagens que correram o mundo no dia 11 de Setembro de 2001 foram sobretudo das duas torres do World Trade Center, em Nova Iorque, mas nesse dia houve uma outra tragédia mortal.

O edifício do Pentágono, símbolo do Departamento de Defesa norte-americano, em Washington, também foi atacado por um avião, o voo 77 da American Airlines.

184 pessoas morreram neste local, onde agora se ergue um monumento de homenagem a estas vítimas. São muitos os visitantes que procuram o Pentágono para recordar a face menos visível do 11 de Setembro.

Fonte: TVI24.PT

9-11: What Does It Mean To You?



This particular brotherhood is an exclusive group.


For the last several weeks, and for the next several days, you will see hundreds of thousands of Facebook posts, blog posts, news articles and tweets about September 11th. Everyone has memories associated with that day, and the days that followed.
There is no doubt that the impact of September 11th goes well beyond any single person, or fire company, or firehouse, or city, or state. The original attack may have been on New York City and the Pentagon, but those events; plus the failed hijacking that ended in Pennsylvania, united a country and bonded us in a common cause. September 11th, like a rock thrown into the middle of a smooth pond, has caused ripples that have gone on to affect all of us.
When you really sit down and think about it, it is almost too much to comprehend. In these last few days I have seen news articles and video of ground zero that have made me realize how little of that day I actually understand. The fire service has taken ownership of that day on some levels. There is a strong bond nationwide and internationally that stems from the sheer number of Brothers that were lost that day. 343 brothers; never before had so many firemen been killed at one time and it isn’t until you actually try to break that down and under it that it becomes too big to wrap your head around.
But for me it has always been about the brothers. The personal connections from those that worked shoulder to shoulder with those that are no longer with us. It is about those brothers that know they were “at the mercy of the chart” as to whether or not they responded, and those that often say they would trade place with those that are lost.
September 11th is about those brothers that in the days and months that followed spent hundreds of hours looking for their brothers. They came to work and stared blankly at the lockers of their friends, knowing that those lost would never come back, but also knowing that not finding them was far too much of a burden to bear.
Imagine those fireman, that on September 10th were convinced they had the best job in the world, and on September 12th had to return to a firehouse and face the memories of all those lost. Those memories, that were forged in the blood, sweat and tears of one of the most hazardous and rewarding professions.
Now imagine those same brothers, after spending hundreds of hours on “the pile”, fighting a battle for their own lives. Fighting cancer and respiratory issues, fighting to have the government recognize that that fateful day made them sick.
Through no choice of their own, our brothers in the FDNY become synonymous with September 11th. Their efforts on that day saved thousands, their sacrifice inspired millions, and their commitment to their brothers is without equal.
So when you ask me what that day is about, I say it is about them.




Photo courtesy of Ryan Whittington/FITHP.net

9|11 Honor and Remembrance: Ten Year Anniversary

For many of us, the events of September 11th, 2001 will forever be etched into our minds and hearts. The magnitude and severity of the sacrifices made that day by the FDNY as well as the NYPD, EMS and PAPD and numerous other first responders uphold the tradition, beliefs, values and ideals that the Fire, Rescue, EMS and Law Enforcement professions embrace. The tragic loss of lives, the promise of the future; the unfulfilled opportunities and contributions that were yet to be recognized or made by many of those killed and the subsequent loss of completing life’s journey with their families, loved ones and comrades further magnifies the senselessness and grief many of us share to this day.
FDNY Assistant Chief Gerard Barbara , the Citywide Tour Commander on the morning of September 11th whose image was profoundly captured standing in the street within the shadow of the twin towers moments before the first collapse provides a poignant reminder of our sworn duty, obligation and responsibilities as firefighters, and the honor of our proud tradition that compells us to do what we do each and every day, on the job.

FDNY Citywide Tour Commander Asst. Chief Gerard Barbara moments before the first collapse

I’m reposting an article that I had written within the subsequent days of September 11th, 2001  that was published shortly thereafter. It’s difficult to put into perspective and think that ten years have passed, when it seems like only yesterday. Each and everyone of us can recall the vivid emotions and sentiments that were present in such a raw manner on that day and in the days and weeks that followed. And how, now at the ten year anniversary we can reflected on where we’ve been in our own personal journeys, and what the last ten years have given us and what it has done to the fire service in that time frame.
There have been changes, both positive and negative; but change none the less. Each of us has grown older, hopefully wiser and broadened our perspective on the job, who we are, our families and loved ones and remembrance for those we lost on 9|11 and in the preceeding ten years.
This is why we must remember, this is why we must never forget.

The First Steps of Our Journey

(originally written and published September, 2001)
Honor and Remembrance 2001-2011
Tuesday September 11th (2001) began unremarkably like many others. I began my instructional delivery of a course of instruction on Incident Command Management for Structural Collapse Rescue Operations as part of the National Fire Academy’s field delivery programs in Ft. Myers, Florida. The class was comprised of Special Operations Battalion Chiefs, Command and Line Officers from throughout the region. As we began our discussion on the needs for urban search and rescue preparedness and its relationship to strategic incident command management and tactical company level capabilities, the Ft. Myers Chief of Department came into the classroom and directed us immediately to the station day room. The time was 08:55 hours, and so began our journey.
The class immediately became transfixed upon the televised images streaming before us. The live coverage of the evolving sequence of events, the fire and emergency services responses and the devastation inflicted both in New York City and later in Washington, D.C., and the realization that this was a terrorist attack. For the next three hours we watched in disbelief the unfolding events in New York City at the World Trade Center, each of us fully realizing the magnitude and severity of the incident and the impact inflicted upon the fire, rescue, ems and law enforcement personnel operating at the scene.
The transmission of Manhattan Box 55-8087 to the World Trade Center Towers brought New York City’s Bravest and Finest. We witnessed the evolving events of the initial high-rise fires in WTC Tower #1, the vivid images of the second aircraft impacting WTC Tower #2 and shortly thereafter, the horrendous collapse of both towers.
We watched in silence, fully cognizant of the potential toll the resulting collapses could have on the operating personnel and civilians alike. Following numerous telephone calls home and to my fire station, with the impending arrangements and planning being undertaken for our fire department’s possible deployment to NYC, I began a twenty-two hour trek back home. The journey back was consumed with the constant reports filtering through the radio speakers of the ever increasing descriptions of the magnitude and levels of destruction at what has become known as Ground Zero.
The turnpikes I traveled were filled with the passing images of the initial public outpouring of emotions to the day’s tragic events. Lone individuals on overpasses and bridges, waving our nation’s flag. The flags drawn to half staff throughout the communities I passed through and the electronic message boards along the highway, with words of condolence and encouragement in this time of national grief. Still in my Fire Academy shirt with the embroidered words of the NFA and Structural Collapse, I was recognized as a firefighter and approached by numerous people along my route back who questioned the events of the day, who were seeking some sense of understanding for what was becoming recognized as a significant loss of life to unaccounted for fire, rescue, law enforcement and civilians.
There were the unsolicited words of thanks expressed by people at gas pumps and rest areas up the entire east coast, who acknowledged my fire service affiliation and connected to what they may have seen or heard in terms of the of the missing F.D.N.Y. firefighters and N.Y.P.D. law enforcement officers. This level of acknowledgement, seemed so strange, when any other time, we seem to blend into the back ground of everyday life. All for having a fire service emblem on.
During my travel back to Syracuse, New York I listened to every report, every update and the ever increasing numbers of potential missing on the radio. Well after midnight I ran into a colleague of mine at a gas station, an Assistant Fire Chief from the Metro Dade Fire & Rescue Department, Florida who, along with four other urban search and rescue specialists were making their way to Washington, D.C. as part of the deployed FEMA USAR Task Force Team from South Florida. We shared in our grief over the immediate notification at a mayoral press briefing that our close friend FDNY Battalion Chief Ray Downey was identified as one of three chief FDNY Officers who died during the tower collapses.
We also shared in our grief in the initial reports of the over forty FDNY fire, rescue and support companies unaccounted for as a result of the fire suppression, rescue and collapse efforts. The continuing ride gave way to the thoughts and concerns of many of my friends within the FDNY. Were they on shift, are they accounted for, are they safe? I thought about everything that we have tried to prepare for, the years of developing our national urban search and rescue task force system, collapse-rescue training, terrorism preparedness and the images of the WTC events of the morning. I thought deeply of my twenty-six years of fire service involvement, my brother & sister firefighters, and again- the fate of my FDNY brothers and sisters in New York City.
Subsequently in the days that followed, I became glued to the live televised images from Ground Zero and ever increasing reports of the search and rescue efforts deployed at the incident scene. As I watched alone into the early morning hours the images pouring across my television screen or at the fire station with my brother and sister firefighters, I began to contemplate the journey that lay ahead for our nation’s fire and emergency services. We will be forever changed by the events of 9-11. The most recent accounts have identified over three hundred thirty seven confirmed or unaccounted for firefighters, twenty-three law enforcement officers and over five thousand four hundred missing civilians. Rescue efforts remain the focus, with the realization that the probability of live rescues diminishes with each passing hour as the first week of Herculean efforts draws to a close.
The fabric that binds us within the fire and emergency services, the true bonds of brother and sisterhood in this proudest of professions can not be more poignantly depicted than the image of the three brother FDNY firefighters raising the American flag amidst the mountains of rubble and debris where once stood the World Trade Center. Each and every one of us understands the undertakings during the initial stages of operations at the WTC. We, the fire and emergency service providers protect the heart and soul of our respective communities. We understand the risks and challenges affecting our commitment to protect life and property and to meet those challenges armed with our training, preparedness and tools of our trade. We are the first ones in and the last ones out. The challenges ahead will be immense as the rescue efforts at Ground Zero evolve into the recovery mode of operation, and the continued efforts to bring home- back to quarters these missing firefighters.

Ground Zero

In the days, weeks and months ahead, we will be witness to ever changing events in this continuing journey. We will share in the pain, grief and emotions that have become so deeply rooted inside of all of us in the course of these events in NYC and in our nations’ capital. For those who provided direct or support service to the events at the WTC, and those who may yet be called upon to render aide in the weeks and months ahead, each of us understands the calling and we also understand the pain. For each and everyone firefighter, rescue and ems provider would, if they could, would be side by side with those working at Ground Zero.
We must remain vigilant to our own community’s risk potential for future events and incidents and must strive to reduce the gap between our capabilities and those identified deficiencies. We must plan and train for the worst, for it’s not a matter of IF , it’s just a matter of WHEN. Our nation’s fire and emergency services have begun a journey, one that no one could have imagined, yet one that each will meet head- on. Remain safe, stay strong, and meet the challenges of your next alarm, with faith and the foundation of principles that have made our fire services what they are. We are all part of a brotherhood, we share a common belief and mission-we know our duty, we are firefighters, and will answere the call. (Original written and publication; September, 2001)

Waiting for the bell and the next alarm

Remember and honor the sacrifices of September 1th, 2001 and the continuing sacrifices that are being made today by those fire, law enforcement and emergency services workers, support personnel and civilians that worked the recovery efforts at Ground Zero in the weeks and months afterwards who are dying or are afflicted by the lingering effects of exposures at the site and the area.
Remember the surviving families of those lost, remember the firefighters; who they were and remember who we are, and what we do each and every day in the streets of America. May We Never Forget.
Honor and Remembrance 343…the 2,164 civilians and others who lost their lives at the WTC Towers One and Two and let us remember the 184 civilians, military and other personnel from the Pentagon and the 40 civilians and crew from United Flight 93 and Shanksville 

Honor and Remembrance...in the streets each day
FDNY 9|11 Memorial Page with Links to each of the 343 Firefighters, HERE
FDNY Video 9|11 Video Tribute, HERE
William Feehan

William Feehan
First Deputy
Commissioner

Memorial Wall
Peter J. Ganci

Peter J. Ganci
Chief of
Department

Click here to go to the Chief's Memorial.Click here to go to the Chaplain's Memorial.Click here to go to the Captain's Memorial.Click here to go to the Lieutenant's Memorial.Click here to go to the Fire Marshal's Memorial.Click here to go to the Firefighter's Memorial.Click here to go to the Paramedic's Memorial.
Click here to view the Funeral & Memorial Services.

FDNY 343 Remembrance
The 343 FDNY Firefighters killed on September 11, 2001 during operations at the World Trade Center
This list originally compiled  by Don Van Holt, NYFD.com 
 
 


FDNY 343


A Memorial Wall listing the names of 55 FDNY members who died in the last 10 years due to World Trade Center-related illnesses was unveiled at FDNY Headquarters on Sept. 8. (HERE)
The inscription on the Memorial Wall reads, “DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF THOSE WHO BRAVELY SERVED THIS DEPARTMENT PROTECTING LIFE AND PROPERTY IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK IN THE RESCUE AND RECOVERY EFFORT AT MANHATTAN BOX 5-5-8087 WORLD TRADE CENTER.”

The names included:
Firefighter Robert W. Dillon, Engine Co. 153
Firefighter Vanclive A. Johnson, Ladder Co. 135
Firefighter Russell C. Brinkworth, Ladder Co. 135
Firefighter Edward V. Tietjen, Ladder Co. 48
Firefighter Walter Voight, Ladder Co. 144
Battalion Chief Kevin R. Byrnes, Battalion 7
Firefighter Stephen M. Johnson, Ladder Co. 25
Lieutenant Richard M. Burke, Engine Co. 97
Firefighter Michael Sofia, Engine Co. 165
Firefighter Joseph P. Costello, Battalion Co. 58
Firefighter William R. O’Connor, Ladder Co. 84
Lieutenant Reinaldo Natal, Field Communications Unit
Paramedic Deborah Reeve, EMS Station 20
Fire Marshal William Wilson, Jr., Manhattan Base
Lieutenant Thomas J. Hodges, Engine Co. 313
Firefighter Robert J. Wieber, Engine Co. 262
Lieutenant Joseph P. Colleluori, Jr., Engine Co. 324
Firefighter Michael J. Shagi, Engine Co. 74
Firefighter William R. St. George, Batallion Special Operations Command
Firefighter Raymond W. Hauber, Engine Co. 284
EMS Lieutenant Brian Ellicott, EMS Dispatch
Firefighter William E. Moreau, Engine Co. 166
Lieutenant John P. Murray, Engine Co. 165
Firefighter Sean M. McCarthy, Engine Co. 280
Firefighter Bruce M. Foss, Ladder Co. 108
Firefighter Jacques W. Paultre, Engine Co. 50
Firefighter Kevin M. Delano, Sr., Ladder Co. 142
Lieutenant Vincent J. Tancredi, II, Ladder Co. 47
Paramedic Clyde F. Sealey, Bureau of Health Services
Firefighter Timothy G. Lockwood, Engine Co. 275
Firefighter Edward F. Reilly, Jr., Ladder Co. 160
Firefighter John F. McNamara, Engine Co. 234
Lieutenant Thomas G. Roberts, Ladder Co. 40
Captain Kevin J. Cassidy, Engine Co. 320
Firefighter Joan R. Daley, Engine Co. 63
Firefighter Richard A. Manetta, Ladder Co. 156
Lieutenant Peter J. Farrenkopf, Marine Co. 6
Battalion Chief John J. Vaughan, Battalion Co. 3
Firefighter Robert A. Ford, Engine Co. 284
Paramedic Carene A. Brown, EMS Bureau of Training
Firefighter James J. Ryan, Ladder Co. 167
Lieutenant Robert M. Hess, Ladder Co. 76
EMT Freddie Rosario, EMS Station 4
Lieutenant Harry Wanamaker, Jr., Marine Co. 1
Supv. Commun. Electrician Philip J. Berger, Outside Plant Operations
Firefighter Vincent J. Albanese, Ladder Co. 38
Firefighter John P. Sullivan, Jr., Ladder Co. 34
Firefighter Roy W. Chelsen, Engine Co. 28
Firefighter John F. O’Neill, Ladder Co. 52
Lieutenant Randy J. Wiebicke, Ladder Co. 1
Firefighter Brian C. Malloy, Ladder Co. 80
Lieutenant John A. Garcia, Ladder Co. 5
Firefighter Anthony J. Nuccio, Ladder Co. 175
Fire Marshal Steven C. Mosiello, Chief of Department’s Office
Firefighter Carl Capobianco, Ladder Co. 87

September 11, 2001 by Tom Dunn FDNY

The following is an accounting of the events at Ground Zero by now retired FDNY Firefighter Tom Dunn. Each year on this anniversary I am honored to re-post Firefighter Dunn’s amazing story. On November 12, two months after the terror attack Firefighter Dunn responded to the crash of American Airlines Flight 587 in Brooklyn NY. Read Tom’s account here.

With permission.

 
– by Tom Dunn, FDNY Firefighter
 
“September 11, 2001, 0000 hrs. FF Dunn relieves FF Jacobs on house watch dept., personal quarters, in good order.”
That’s the entry I made in the company journal when I took over house watch at midnight.
The night tour was pretty slow, we had a couple runs–nothing worth talking about. At about 8 AM we received an EMS run for a cardiac. To tell you the truth, I don’t even remember this run, but I know we had it because I made the entry in the book. When we returned to quarters the day tour was already in. I was working a 24 that day, so I would be staying on duty. It was probably about 8:30. I remained at the housewatch and monitored the radio. The other guys were in the kitchen reading papers and drinking coffee.
At approximately 8:50 everything got very crazy. Someone yelled from the kitchen “Tommy, turn on the TV!” I did and saw that one of the towers was on fire. I had no idea what happened, just that it was on fire. The red phone went off announcing that a second alarm had been transmitted for box 8087 The World Trade Center. About a minute past and again the phone went off stating now that a third alarm had been transmitted. Almost immediately the computer went off “Battalion!” followed by the two tone noise that means we have received an alarm. I scanned the job to see if we were going, we weren’t, just the chief. I acknowledged the alarm read the job over the loud speaker and rang the four bells that signaled just the Chief was going. I ripped the ticket off the printer, opened the door and got the Chief and aides radios that I had placed on the charger. The Chief on duty that day was Battalion Chief Joseph Grislazk and his aide was Firefighter Michael Bocchino. I gave the Chief the ticket and said “go get em boys, wish we were going.” They grabbed their gear got in the car and drove off.

That was the last time anyone from our company would see them.
It was approximately 8:55. The chief had left. I went back to housewatch and was looking at the TV. I started to get excited because I started to think we might get a chance to go. I got my bunker gear close by and then realized, “Damn, I have control.” This meant I was the last one on the hose line if we went to a working fire. I knew that it was tour change and I hinted to the LT on duty, Lt. Auciello. I said “Hey, Lou, are we gonna keep the same riding positions or switch ‘em up for the day tour?” I was hoping to get the knob because I knew my groups were working and that means you usually get the knob. “OK,” he replied, “Dunn, you got the knob, Jacobs, you back him up, Murray control, Winkler, you’re driving.”
I was happy mission accomplished. I went back to the TV to see what was going on and I now heard that the second tower had been hit by another plane, this was the first point I had heard that this may be some sort of terrorist attack. The phone rang and I answered it. It was my brother, he was saying he was on the west side highway and that the World Trade Center was on fire. I said I know and that I thought we might be going.

I was still on the phone with him when the computer went off “ENGINE!” Followed by the two tones.”Jimmy I gotta go. We are going. I love ya, bro,” I said and hung up. I did the same routine, acknowledged the alarm read the ticket over the loud speaker, rang the bell once which meant the engine was going, ripped the ticket and opened the door. I gave the ticket to the LT got my gear and got on the rig. It was 9:10. We exited the firehouse and headed down Prospect Ave. to the Prospect Expressway. The Expressway had some light traffic that we were able to get through with the use of the lights and sirens. I continued to suit up getting the bunker gear on, hood, checking for my gloves, flashlight and helmet. We hit the merge of the Prospect Expressway and the Brooklyn Queens Expressway. There was heavy traffic almost at a stand still. Winkler weaved in and out of the traffic and got to the HOV lane, which was a little easier to get through.

This was the first glance we got of the actual towers. I stuck my head out of the window and I could see that the towers were really going, a lot of smoke showing. I took a couple pictures. We were all getting psyched up and yelling and trying to get ourselves pumped up for the job. Brooklyn called us over the department radio and instructed us that we were not to go directly to the Trade Center but to help set up a staging area on the Brooklyn side of the Battery Tunnel. I was pretty upset at the time, because, to tell you the truth, I thought that doing this might have taken us out of the picture and we wouldn’t get a chance to go to work. Looking back now this saved our lives.

We made it to the tunnel and parked right down the block from L101 quarters. We were to stay there and wait for the Battalion Chief for further orders. It was approximately 9:20. We were the first ones to reach the staging area and units started to show up and we all got out of the rigs and began talking and looking at the Towers. L102 was there and my friend Pat O’Brien was working so I spent most of the time with him. I don’t remember exactly what we talked about but it was probably how we couldn’t believe this was happening and if we thought they would send us.

I don’t remember being scared, just really anxious to get to work and get started. I took another couple pictures and rechecked my gear. John Winkler, our driver, yelled over 240 “let’s start getting ready, they are going to send us.” We went back to the rig and another ticket came over the computer telling us to respond along with engine 201 to the command post at West Street and Albany Street. It was 9:45.

We started to pull out and I waved to Pat and we headed into the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. There was no traffic because the tunnel had been closed to emergency traffic only for some time now. I would say it probably took us 3 minutes to make our way through the tunnel and out on to West Street. We proceeded down West Street and past Albany Street (there was nobody there but we could see a Chief the next block up) to Liberty. L113 was parked maybe a 100 feet from the south foot bridge and we were going to pull right up behind them when a cop motioned for us to stop where we were. We did and got out of the rig.
At my feet when I exited the rig was what looked like a piece of one of the air planes. We proceeded to get our hose rollups, put our masks on and walked to the front of the rig. At this point I could see why the cop had stopped us, there was a body directly in front of our rig. It was one of the jumpers from the upper floors and the best way I can describe it is that it looked like a dead animal that you might see on the side of the highway that had been hit by a couple of cars or trucks.

At this point I began to get my bearings. OK, we were on West Street (West Side Highway) between Liberty Street and the southernmost foot bridge. I could see the Marriott and both of the towers and they were both going. There were fires in the street and I could see other units in the area. There were several more bodies that were in the same shape as the one near our rig that were further down West Street.
We proceeded to the Chief’s car, which was about 100 feet from our rig. There were three people there, two Chiefs and an aide. I did not know them. I think they were Manhattan Chiefs. We announced to the Chief who we were and he told us to stand by while he radioed to find out where we were needed. We listened to the radio traffic and he patiently attempted to reach a Chief that was in the south tower to see where he needed us.

While we waited I kept looking up and at this point I started to get a little nervous because it was then that I realized the magnitude of this fire and that we were about to enter these buildings that looked more like war zones than any fire ground I had ever seen. My attention turned back to the radio and I heard the Chief from inside saying that we were to start walking up because it was going to take us about an hour to even get to the point he was at. The Chief said “10-4″ and proceeded to brief us.
“OK, 240 your going up, you don’t need the roll ups, just your air, keep your heads up on the way in because a firefighter was already killed by a jumper. Prepare yourself–this is going to be very gruesome. God be with you!” At this point I began to get really nervous. I mean, here was a Chief with probably 30 years on the job saying stuff like that, and I began to wonder what he knew that I didn’t, I would have much rather if he said “Go get ‘em, boys!” or something like that. But the choice of words made me feel like we were going somewhere that we weren’t coming back from. My heart was going a million miles an hour and I remember thinking, “Let’s just go get this over with.”

I haven’t been to tons of fires in my life, but I do know that at the ones I have been to it was better to get right to work and stay busy than to sit around thinking about what lies ahead.
We began walking toward the Tower. As we were crossing West Street toward the Tower, I heard a loud noise. I don’t know how to describe it, but the best thing I could think of to compare it to was a freight train. All of our heads quickly looked up in the direction of the noise. I could very clearly see that the top of the Tower had begun to fall and it was coming right down on us. People began yelling “Run!” and pushing each other to get everyone moving. I would say that we probably had 8-10 seconds of full sprint time before I began seeing debris and metal fall in my periphery.

I ran across West Street toward the World Financial Center. As I ran I saw fellow firefighters and police and civilians diving under cars that lined the street. I remember very clearly making the decision that the cover of a car would not be enough and that I would try to make it to the building if possible. As I ran and approached the corner of West and Liberty I saw that there was a garage up ahead on the right and made that my goal. As I decided that, the sound of the collapse changed from that of a freight train to that of rushing air.

The air instantly went pitch black and I fell to the floor at the point where the wall of the building met the sidewalk. I don’t remember ever stopping. I continued to crawl as fast as I could to the point where I had remembered seeing the garage door. I felt my way and got to the point where the garage was, but the roll down gate was down and there was no way to get in, but I later found out that I was between the gate and what was a guard post.
Visibility was zero, and as I breathed I was gagging, choking on the air that was filled with debris. I stayed where I was and could feel other people huddled up along side me. Some were crying. Some were choking. All I remember doing for those couple seconds was cursing. I just said over and over (excuse the language) F***! F***! F***!

In between gagging and coughing, I waited to die. I was waiting to be hit by some steel at any moment. At some point I turned on my flashlight and that gave me visibility for maybe 1 foot. I grabbed my mask, turned it on and put the face piece on. The face piece was completely filled with debris and when I inhaled I almost threw up in the mask. I removed the face piece and took off my glove to clear out what I could from the mask. All the while I could still hear debris falling and hitting nearby.

I cleared out what I could from the mask and held the face piece to my face and took like two or three good breaths. I had probably four or five people right near me all of whom did not have masks, I think they were either police officers or fire marshals. I gave the face piece to them one at a time to let them get some air, but I guess they didn’t know how to use it because after they took their breath they didn’t hit the shut off, and the air would bleed freely. I pulled the face piece back and said that they would have to let me hold it while they took breaths so I could control it and not lose the air.

At this point I was assuming we were trapped. Visibility was almost completely zero and debris was piled on top of us and against us and the building. The sound of debris subsided to what sounded like just smaller pieces and we continued to share my mask. I began to hear people in the area and it sounded like they were talking in our direction and they were saying, “You’re not trapped, come this way.” We followed the direction of the voice. I crawled, trying to feel my way and I ended up feeling a car door, so I knew that I was in the street and away from the building.

I yelled for any other FD units and a guy came over to me. I think he was a truck officer. He asked if I knew where my other guys were and I said we were on West Street when it came down and that we all just ran. He said that West Street was gone and that I was to follow him. We were going to go around the rear of the Financial Center and try to get to another command post that he knew was north of the foot bridges. We began to walk down Liberty street and I was quickly separated from him because of all the people looking for hits off of our masks.

The next 10 minutes or so were spent wandering around blindly trying to find out from any Fire Dept. personnel that I found if there was any type of roll call or meeting area that we should go to. Everyone I met was just as lost as I was. I had no radio because I had the nozzle that day, so I did my best to listen in on others’ radios, but traffic was broken up and all I heard were Maydays and broken transmissions. I found a boss who attempted to contact my unit over the radio several times but couldn’t get through because everyone was stepping all over each other. At this point I had completely lost my bearings due to wandering around and the poor visibility. I ended up hooking up with a guy from L122 and a guy from E58. The guy from 58 was bleeding from the head but it wasn’t bad.

We wandered around trying to figure out where to go and then I heard the same sound I had heard earlier. I later found out that this was the second tower. Again visibility became zero and the process began again: coughing, gagging. Again people came to me for air. I remember wandering around and helping who ever I could, all the while trying to figure out just where we were and if there was a roll call being conducted anywhere. I ended up hearing of guys attempting to stretch hose line from the Hudson River and I joined in that.

I think John Winkler was the first one I saw from Engine 240. He was getting onto a fire boat that we were stretching the line from and he was helping turn some wheel. We stretched 3-inch line for blocks and every couple blocks there was a pumper that we were relaying to. At this point I had found Winkler and Murray from my company. Lt. Auciello may have been there, too, but I don’t remember.
We worked stretching these lines for what seemed like forever but was probably maybe an hour. I had already ditched my mask because it became too heavy and it was out of air anyway. We got the lines charged and I told Winkler that I was going off to try to find some water for the men. There was a cafe-type place that two women were in and they filled the buckets that the bus boys carry with bottles of water, soda, and juice. I made my way back to the guys and gave them all out. While I was doing this I ran into my roommate George. I was so thankful that he was alive.

We rested for a couple minutes and then Jacobs, Winkler, and me went to operate hose lines that were on West Street. We started to put out cars and vans that were burning along with rubbish in the streets. Each man in the area had their own hand line. We did this for awhile and Winkler said “Let’s go, guys are starting to search the rubble.” We made our way up to what I now know was the Vista Hotel. We grabbed tools along the way. I had a 6-foot hook and a rope.

Visibility had improved greatly but there was still heavy smoke and the rubble was a little hard to maneuver around. We made our way fairly deep into the rubble and there were other FDNY members around searching as well. A Chief came by and was yelling “Everyone off the rubble–imminent collapse!”
We began running as fast as we could down the rubble, trying to get back out to West Street near the south foot bridge, and as I was running I stepped in a hole and twisted my ankle. I continued to hop as fast as I could, but I knew I was hurt. I believed the foot was broken. We evacuated to an area that the Chief told us to go and I rested my ankle. We were now reunited with everyone except Sullivan. I heard he was evacuated due to his eyes getting debris in them.

We waited for awhile for orders from a Chief but the LT said that I was to go get my foot looked at. I was removed by police to an area that EMS had set up to treat people and there was an EMS Chief there who said I was to be evacuated. I said I was not going and that they should just wrap the ankle up so I could go back. We argued and I said, “Chief, with all due respect, I’m not getting on that f***ing boat.” He said OK, that he would have the EMT wrap it for me and that I could go back if I stayed for a little while and drank a lot of water. I agreed. I drank some water and said I was going back and the chief turned to me and said ” Go with God!” This was the second time someone had said that to me that day.

I hobbled the whole way back to where I last saw my guys. Nobody was there and guys that were in the area had said that they were evacuated by EMS. I wandered around for awhile looking for anyone that I knew. I found no one and attempted to find the EMS place I was at before to see if the guys were there. I couldn’t find where I had been and I ran into some police that said they would take me to the main evacuation point to see if they were there. One of them gave me a cell phone and told me to call someone at home to let them know that I was alive.

I looked at the phone and for the life of me I couldn’t remember my own phone number. I was like a zombie. I made it to the evacuation point, which turned out to be the ferry terminal, and ran into this firefighter named Dog who was from Staten Island. He tried to help me find my guys but the EMS people we talked to said they were already evacuated and they didn’t know where they went. Dog was great, he stayed with me and convinced me to go to the hospital and that there was nothing I was going to be able to do at the Trade Center in this condition.
I was evacuated by EMS to Lutheran Hospital. It was approximately 6 pm.
 
All rights reserved Tom Dunn. Please do not preprint without his permission.

Al Mullins Remembers 9/11


AP / Samoilova
*  *  *  *  *
Remembering That Day …. September 11, 2001

I barely remember the day that JFK was assassinated. I remember my Mom watching the news on the old black and white television and her crying, but that is about it. Fast forward to September 11, 2001, well yes I remember it like it was yesterday. How can you forget that day, and how we have changed in that time?
Like everyone else on the East Coast, we woke to a pristine fall day, clear blue skies light humidity and a gorgeous day. Our daughter was in kindergarten so getting up and getting her out to the bus was the big activity that morning, that and the fact that I had a couple of errands to run that day with our twin boys. After walking my daughter up to the bus stop and seeing her off, I headed back down the street to get my boys and head out on my errands. Twin boys are very cool, everyday that I spend with them is just amazing and this day started that way.

Our first stop was at the bank, I had to drop something off at my bank (well before online banking) so I grabbed the guys took them out of their car seats and headed into the bank to take care of the transaction. As soon as I did that, I was headed to our favorite barbershop to get everyone a haircut, but as I was walking out of the bank, a woman who was walking in stopped and told me that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. Now she did not have to fill in the rest since I naturally knew where they were and what they were. In fact, I am a native New Yorker and as a young boy, I watched the WTC or twin towers being built. I lived up in the Catskills, but had relatives in New York so we would often come down to visit.

I heard her say that the WTC had been hit by a plane and my love of anything FDNY (Fire Department of New York) reminded me that something like this had happened before in New York. A Mitchell B-25 (Twenty Seconds over Tokyo or the twin-engine bombers in the movie Pearl Harbor for the younger crowd) flying to Floyd Bennett Field had gotten lost in the fog and had crashed into the Empire State Building. I looked up again at the sky and I just thought that some wayward general aviation plane had really messed up; I did not even consider a terrorist attack. I really dismissed what she had said and drove over to the barbershop.

Stopped the car got the boys out of their car seats and walked in to the barbershop where I stopped dead in my tracks. The 55-inch rear projection high definition television in the barbershop was showing pictures from the WTC and I really knew right then that this was not a general aviation plane or a mistake. I also knew that every firefighter in New York was going to this fire. If I was at the firehouse and this came in, I would have done the same thing. Yes I know and you know that this is wrong, but back then… yeah I was going.
This was like no fire I had ever seen in my life, First Interstate Bank and Meridian fires in LA and Philly paled in comparison (and they were both huge fires). I also knew this was going to be the toughest fire these guys would ever have to handle, especially since all the elevators were out and those guys had to walk. I have had to go up 10 and 20 story buildings with full gear and equipment on and know that was tough, but almost 100 floors OMG!

Then as I was watching the second plane hit, I could not believe it now I started to get nervous since one was bad, but two was worse and I thought that two would not be the end of it. Shortly after (at least what seemed to be shortly after) the second plane hit the twin towers I called TROT (Technical Rescue Operations Team) central. Fire Station 18 in Fairfax County is really TROT central and as a former shift member there, I knew the number by heart. The driver on the shift answered the phone and I asked him if they had seen the news and were being geared up, as I was talking to him the third plane hit the Pentagon and FS18 actually were toned out on the response… I said a quick good bye and was a little worried, since I knew all of those characters and was concerned for their well being.

Now I turned back to the TV and saw a humongous cloud of dust in New York, and my blood turned to ice water. I knew what had just happened and I knew that many firefighters had just died. As a former member of the TROT group in Fairfax County I had gone up to Baltimore in the late 1980’s to work with the folks from Montgomery County in a drill at the Francis Scott Key Medical Center. The medical center was dropping one of their 14 story buildings and we were going to work on it after it fell. As a young sergeant on the rescue, I was really forward to getting an opportunity to get some good experience on this structure. Battalion Chief Mike Tammillow and Captain Chuck Jarrell, two of the more senior members of the team were kind enough to give me a video camera and put me in position to catch the falling of the building. I grabbed the camera got as close as the security folks would let me and started filming, it was really a great vantage point and I got to see and hear the entire demolition of the building from a close vantage point. Now remember that dust? I had no clue about the dust in the late 80’s, heck I was still listening to Journey… So I am filming the building coming down and watching the dust come towards the camera and not really appreciating what was going to happen next when I couldn’t breathe anymore…. I know how the people on the ground felt that day and I knew the significance of the dust.

(To be continued tomorrow…)

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

9/11 Thoughts of Eric Lamar


Kanter / AFP
*  *  *  *  *

343

* * *
Ten years after, the number continues to defy believability in its astounding size.
Never before had the profession of firefighting experienced such an extraordinary cataclysm. It was beyond the realm of imagination, contemplation or nightmare.


Today that same sentiment or feeling remains. It is true that life has gone on and they say that the Fire Department has been re-built but the stunning magnitude of the loss will stay with us always, immune to the passage of time.
Those numbers, three-four-three, define the before and after of our profession, a gigantic breach eluding comprehension.
In our minds and indeed in the minds of most Americans, firefighting has always been associated with a degree of selfless service which extends beyond the notions of job, work and profession. Those 343, in their collective sacrifice, transcended the expectations of mortals, even of the heroic men.
On this tenth anniversary we can struggle to do them justice by remembering their individual uniqueness while at the same we will forever marvel at their sense of duty and commitment on a day that both defined our greatest loss as well as the bravery and courage of firefighters, for all time.

………. Eric Lamar

(Note:  This is the third entry of Eric's 9/11 trilogy.  You can read the first two HERE and HERE.)

 fonte: Firegeezer

Onze de Setembro: Dez anos de perguntas sem respostas [Com Video]

Nos últimos dez anos muito se falou dos acontecimentos de 11 de setembro de 2001 nos Estados Unidos. Naquele dia, dois aviões de passageiros colidiram com as torres norte e sul do World Trade Center em Nova York, no período da manhã. Muitas perguntas foram feitas sobre esse acontecimento e até hoje permanecem sem respostas críveis.

Por Humberto Alencar


Um outro avião de passageiros colidiu com o Pentágono. Um quarto avião, que presume-se estava se dirigindo à Casa Branca ou ao Capitólio, caiu na Pensilvânia.

Quase três mil pessoas morreram nos ataques e a comoção generalizada fez com que a aprovação a qualquer ato da administração americana fosse quase unânime, beirando 100% de aprovação.

Pouco depois dos ataques o governo americano já apontava os culpados. Uma rede terrorista islâmica, chamada al-Qaida (A Base, em árabe) teria lançado os aviões contra os alvos. Seu líder, Osama bin Laden, era um árabe salafita que lutara contra os soviéticos nos anos 1980 no Afeganistão.

A administração Bush deu início, nos meses seguintes, a duas invasões e ocupações que perduram até hoje. A primeira foi a invasão do Afeganistão, em outubro daquele mesmo ano. Em março de 2003 foi a vez do Iraque padecer sob as botas dos soldados americanos.

O avião que caiu na Pensilvânia só não conseguiu atingir o "alvo" (Casa Branca ou Capitólio) porque um punhado de passageiros invadiu a cabine e lutou com os terroristas que pilotavam o avião.

Horas depois das duas torres do World Trade Center entrarem em colapso, um outro edifício, o The Salomon Brothers Building, ou o World Trade Center 7, também vinha ao chão.

Isso é parte da história oficial. Ela conta que 19 militantes de al-Qaida realizaram uma operação portentosa, sequestrando quatro aviões para lançá-los contra edifícios simbolos do regime americano.

O World Trade Center representava o poder econômico. O Pentágono era o poder militar e o poder político estava em Washington, na Casa Branca ou no Capitólio, a sede do Congresso estadunidense.

A investigação que se seguiu não foi, de fato, completa e até hoje não há uma conclusão sobre alguns eventos cruciais. Diante disso, surgiram centenas de teorias conspiracionistas.

Desde as mais estapafúrdias, como a de que as aeronaves eram hologramas e que explosivos teriam feito a encenação da colisão delas com as torres do WTC às mais convincentes, como a de que nenhum grande avião teria colidido com o Pentágono.

No entanto, a mais grandiosa de todas as teorias da conspiração é a própria explicação oficial para os eventos. Terroristas decidiram atingir os Estados Unidos, para isso se reuniram fora do país, fizeram os planos, viajaram para os EUA, aprenderam a pilotar e depois cumpriram com precisão milimétrica com uma das mais tenebrosas missões de terrorismo da história.

Não cabe julgar quais das teorias da conspiração está correta e cabe melhor aos eventos daquele dia. A oficial tem pontos muito obscuros, desde o cerceamento da Comissão de Investigação à dispensa dos escombros recolhidos dos edifícios que entraram em colapso naquele dia.

O material recolhido foi atirado ao mar por meio de chatas, ao invés de ser reutilizado ou colocado à inteira disposição da comissão de investigação. Parte das provas foram perdidas para sempre, de forma deliberada.

Outro questionamento que jamais foi respondido de forma satisfatória é o porquê do edifício número 7 ter entrado em colapso, às 17h20 daquele dia. Após o encerramento da investigação, em 2002, as evidências foram destruídas e o relatório não é concludente.

Uma das evidências mais curiosas dos eventos de 11 de setembro é uma reportagem da emissora BBC britânica, que entra ao vivo para informar os telespectadores de que o edifício número 7 havia entrado em colapso.

O apresentador narra a notícia e passa a bola para a repórter Jane Standley, que está em um edifício de Nova York de onde pode ser visto o local enfumaçado onde estavam as torres gêmeas.

Jane discorre sobre o ataque e o colapso do edifício. Ao fundo, atrás de sua cabeça, o WTC7 continua de pé. Em um dado momento do vídeo, a repórter se afasta para que o cinegrafista possa exibir a cena em que uma espessa fumaça negra escapa para o céu a partir do local onde estavam as duas torres.

O edifício número 7 está na imagem e continua de pé, a despeito da notícia de que havia caído. Tal fato só ocorreu cerca de 20 minutos depois da BBC ter entrado ao vivo para relatar o suposto colapso. Richard Porter, editor naquele dia e horário, foi questionado a respeito e publicou em seu blog várias respostas, muito evasivas, sobre o motivo de terem anunciado uma queda que não havia acontecido.

Embora as imagens não signifiquem que a BBC "conspirou com o governo americano", esse vídeo reforçou e muito a tese de que o 11 de Setembro havia sido um "inside job" (trabalho interno, no jargão americano) da administração Bush, abrindo terreno para novas guerras de rapina, com lucros incomensuráveis para setores da burguesia local e um endividamento colossal do erário americano.

Outro fato também inexplicável é o atentado ao Pentágono. Embora existam diversas câmeras de controle de tráfego urbano na região próxima por onde o jato da American Airlines teria passado antes de colidir com o edifício, as imagens foram confiscadas pelo governo e jamais reveladas.

Imagens intrigantes do Pentágono momentos depois da "colisão" podem ser vistas em vários sites, como este, intitulado Pentagon Strike (Ataque ao Pentágono). Além de não haver qualquer indício de que uma aeronave colidira no local (não há restos da deriva, da cauda, do leme, dos profundores, partes que geralmente resistem aos danos de uma colisão frontal ou queda), há várias janelas no Pentágono que não tiveram seus vidros arrebentados na colisão.

Em uma das imagens é possível ver, sobre um pequeno móvel, uma lista telefônica intacta, em um local onde supostamente uma aeronave, com 20 mil litros de querosene líquido, colidira momentos antes.

Por outro lado, indaga-se o que teria levado um edifício de concreto e aço a despencar como as torres gêmeas e o edifício número 7. A versão oficial argumenta que o incêndio resultante do impacto dos aviões nos edifícios teria enfraquecido a superestrutura, de tal modo que ela entrou em colapso vertical.

No caso do Salomon Brothers Building, ele teria sido atingido por destroços da torre norte em queda, o que teria enfraquecido sua estrutura.

Esses argumentos são rebatidos por associações que se dedicam a estabelecer a verdade sobre o que aconteceu naquele dia. São gurpos como o "Arquitetos e Engenheiros pela Verdade do 11 de Setembro", grupo de bombeiros, de pilotos, de professores, a Associação de Memória do Edifício 7 e o Grupo de Nova York, que inclui os familiares das vítimas.

Diante de tantas indagações, o regime americano poderia liberar toda a documentação secreta que detém sobre os ataques, caso a maior das teorias conspiratórias for, de fato, verdadeira, que é a história oficial divulgada infinitamente nos últimos dias.

Veja o vídeo sobre a antecipação da queda do Edifício Salomon Brothers:



fonte: Portal Vermelho

Ataque ao Pentágono permanece vivo na memória dos norte-americanos


Ataque terrorista contra o Departamento de Defesa dos EUA deixou 184 mortos e traumatizou centenas de parentes de vítimas, sobreviventes e pessoas que trabalharam no resgate.

 
Quando Elaine Donovan tentou ligar para o marido William naquela manhã de segunda-feira, o telefone dele não dava sinal. "Imediatamente tive uma sensação ruim", lembra. "Logo pensei: isso não é bom".
Aos 37 anos de idade, o então piloto da Marinha norte-americana estava trabalhando havia um ano no Pentágono – local atingido pelo Boing 757 naquele 11 de setembro de 2001 e que logo foi tomado pelas chamas. Após uma semana de muita apreensão, veio a confirmação: o corpo sem vida do marido fora encontrado em meio aos escombros. "Enquanto não se tem certeza, você mantém as esperanças", diz.
O Pentágono foi um dos alvos dos terroristas, que naquele 11 de setembro já haviam atingido as torres gêmeas do World Trade Center, em Nova York. A construção, localizada em Arlington, no estado da Virgínia – fronteira com Washington – abriga o Departamento de Defesa dos Estados Unidos. Às 9h37 daquele dia, o avião da American Airlines atingiu em cheio a parte oeste do edifício. Nenhum dos tripulantes sobreviveu. Em solo, também houve várias vítimas. Ao todo, 184 pessoas morreram no ato terrorista contra o Pentágono – entre eles, o comandante William Donovan.

Erguer um memorial

Donovan proibiu os filhos de acessarem notícias do atentado 

O 11 de setembro mudou radicalmente a vida de Elaine Donovan. Por um ano, ela não teve forças para visitar o lugar onde o pai de seus três filhos morreu – ela disse não ter visto sentido nisso. Ela começou a se sentir mais forte quando, dois meses após os atentados, passou a se encontrar com outros parentes de vítimas. O objetivo comum era lutar para erguer um memorial. Ela conta que, no início, as reuniões não eram fáceis. "Nos primeiros encontros, nós entrávamos e saíamos chorando", conta.
O projeto, no entanto, fez com que Donovan ocupasse a cabeça e lhe deu forças. Hoje, ela tem orgulho do Memorial do Pentágono, inaugurado exatamente sete anos após o ataque terrorista. Cada detalhe do local tem um significado. Construído do lado atingido pelo avião, o monumento consiste em 184 bancos suspensos – um para cada vítima fatal do atentado – sob os quais se encontra um espelho d'água. Os bancos foram organizados de acordo com o ano de nascimento e nomes dos mortos, gravados de um lado ou outro dos assentos.
Cada detalhe tem um significado, afirma Elaine Donovan. "Quando, ao ler o nome, você enxerga o Pentágono, é porque a vítima estava no prédio. Já se você estiver na posição em que vê o céu, é porque se trata de alguém que estava no avião", explica.
O Memorial do Pentágono foi inaugurado no dia 11 de setembro de 2008. Embora tenha trabalhado intensamente em sua realização, ela raramente visita o local. Durante anos, Elaine proibiu os filhos – que à época tinham 8, 10 e 11 anos – de ter acesso a notícias sobre o assunto. "As imagens do atentado são extremamente dolorosas", justifica a viúva.
Todo dia, porém, ela pensa na morte do marido. Falar sobre o assunto ainda é difícil. Mas ela garante que está bem. "Eu não me deixei entregar, e meus filhos também não", garante, assumindo que não esperava uma superação. "Houve momentos em que achei que não iríamos conseguir", conta.

Cenas impressionantes

Regan viu cenas chocantes durante resgate a vítimas 

O tenente Michael Regan foi um dos primeiros a ver as vítimas do atentado no Pentágono. Em 11 de setembro de 2011, ele fazia parte do Grupo de Operações Especiais dos bombeiros do estado da Virgínia. Três horas após o Boeing ter se chocado contra o Departamento de Defesa norte-americano, o grupo chegava ao local da catástrofe com seus equipamentos mais pesados e entrava no prédio em chamas.
Regan conta que presenciou muitas cenas chocantes. "Quando entramos por aqui, logo encontramos a primeira vítima com queimaduras graves", lembra, ao apontar para uma porta, recolocada no mesmo lugar de 10 anos antes. O bombeiro evita se emocionar ao relatar o episódio. "Ele poderia ter conseguido escapar, ele estava a apenas três metros de distância da entrada".
Ele e seus colegas também já viram imagens terríveis de tragédias na Turquia, em Taiwan, nas Filipinas, no Haiti e recentemente no terremoto do Japão. Ele trabalha na formação de equipes de busca e salvamento cuja missão é encontrar sobreviventes e resgatá-los.
Treinado para também atuar em catástrofes, o maior medo do bombeiro é saber que uma vítima perdeu a vida por ele não ter conseguido chegar a tempo para salvá-la. Naquele dia, ao entrar nos escombros ainda cobertos pela fumaça, porém, ele não pôde pensar em mais nada. Ele entrou no prédio destruído com 50 cartões para marcar as vítimas encontradas. Em 20 minutos, no entanto, todos já haviam sido usados.
Regan afirma, ainda, que acha importante manter viva na memória as lembranças daquele dia tão marcante em sua vida. "Acho que devemos ensinar nossas crianças na escola exatamente o que aconteceu e o porquê. Não devemos maquiar o fato", defende o bombeiro. "Gente terrível fez coisas terríveis naquele 11 de setembro".
Ato semelhante pode acontecer a qualquer momento novamente, diz Regan, referindo-se ao atentado a bomba em julho passado na Noruega, no qual 77 pessoas morreram. Para ele, isso mostra que ainda existem pessoas capazes de tais atos de violência.

De seu carro, Ryefield viu o avião chocar-se contra o prédio 

Mudança positiva

Há quem consiga enxergar toda essa catástrofe com olhos diferentes. Cheryl Ryefield, funcionária do Departamento de Defesa dos Estados Unidos, estava a caminho do trabalho em seu carro quando, pouco antes de chegar ao estacionamento, viu-se obrigada a parar no trânsito. Naquele momento, as torres do World Trade Center já haviam sido atingidas. De repente, ela olhou para o céu e viu um avião voando baixo em direção ao Pentágono. A aeronave atingiu o prédio e explodiu, diante de seus olhos apavorados.
"Comecei a gritar 'pare' do carro. Queria que ele parasse, e todos à minha volta faziam o mesmo", conta Ryefield. "Era como se eu estivesse em um filme. Parecia que não era real, mas era".
O fogo destruiu sua sala e apenas uma semana depois ela teve novamente um local de trabalho. Hoje, ela atua no Departamento de Relações Públicas e frequentemente lida com pessoas traumatizadas – o que vem servindo como autoajuda. "Aprendi que devemos deixar as coisas ruins para trás e nos concentrarmos nas coisas positivas", afirma.
 
Autora: Christina Bergmann (ms)
Revisão: Marcio Damasceno

ALCAFACHE: O maior acidente ferroviário passados 26 anos

Passados 26 anos, o maior acidente ferroviário em Portugal,  continua ainda bem presente na memória daqueles que tiveram de enfrentar a tragédia, que hoje seria "praticamente impossível de acontecer".







Autocarro tombou com passageiros a bordo

Um autocarro que transportava quatro pessoas tombou na berma da estrada nacional 225 e ficou na iminência de cair por uma ravina, seguro por uma trave colocada por um morador da zona. O acidente ocorreu cerca das 7.30 horas e obrigou à interrupção do trânsito até à remoção do veículo, ao final da manhã.

O autocarro da empresa Joalto terá calcado uma berma que escondia uma forte depressão e tombou, no lugar de Travanca, Cinfães. O veículo ficou na iminência de cair por uma ravina no fundo da qual estavam vários esteios de pedra a segurar uma ramada.

Terá sido um morador da zona, alertado pelos gritos dos passageiros, que ocorreu ao local e colocou uma trave a impedir a queda do autocarro.

Nenhum dos três passageiros nem o motorista sofreram qualquer ferimento na sequência do acidente. De acordo com informações recolhidas no local, este terá sido já o terceiro acidente naquele sítio, nos últimos tempos, o que será explicado pela existência simultânea de uma curva perigosa, sem protecção, e de um entrocamento.

A estrada nacional 225, que liga Castelo de Paiva a Cinfães, acabou por ser cortada no local do acidente, ao quilómetro 8,8, enquanto duraram os trabalhos de remoção do autocarro levados a cabo por três gruas. A estrada reabriu ao final da manhã.

Fonte: JN