The El Paso Fire Department held a memorial Sunday, unveiling a sculpture honoring those firefighters who worked on September 11th, many of them dying. El Paso Firemen got together to unveil the sculpture, but what caught everyone’s attention was the testimony of one New York firefighter, a man who saw it happen and worked to rescue survivors
“Look at the sky right here. This is the sky we saw above the burning towers. The plume of smoke could be seen from 40 miles away,” said retired New York Fire Department Deputy Chief Austin Horan.
“That morning I was doing my usual chores, i was getting ready to do some work around the house and I got a call from my son in high school and he said “dad a plane has just hit the World Trade Center,” Horan described.
Horan ran out of his home, hurrying to get into the city.
“I could see the plume of smoke 40 minutes before I got into the city,”
“I got down there, before I got down there the first tower, the south tower had already fallen,” he explained.
They spent the day gathering supplies and protecting the Bronx, but the work would go beyond September 11th
“Only thing that had color was the sky. Everything was s deep shade of grey. The white dust that was covering everything. The cars, the buildings, the streets, you were walking in powder,”
“There were still burning fires they had abandoned. We were checking elevators that were stuck between floors, breaching walls so we could get into them, all so we could get everybody out for search purposes.”
The search itself would not prove easy, even when they thought they had found a body
“You couldn't find a doorknob, couldn’t find a door! You know how many doors are in the world trade center, both buildings? The destruction was so utterly complete that everything was in fragments,”
“Where’s the body? They unzipped it. It would fit in a shoebox. It was Traces of a bunker coat with clips. And that’s what we were looking for, we were looking for buckles and badges, anything that would give us an indication that we had a person or a responder.”
“The destruction was complete,” he said.