Firefighter shares his 9/11 story ahead of 21st anniversary
With less than a week until the 21st anniversary of Sept. 11, News 12’s Greg Thompson sat down with a firefighter to speak about the memories he still has.
James McCarthy remembers exactly where he was on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001 – at home, on his day off. When he saw what happened, he drove to his ladder in Melrose, then headed to the World Trade Center.
McCarthy says he and his fellow firefighters weren’t concerned about time as they reached ground zero, and recalls spending weeks, and then months cutting and digging through the remains of the World Trade Center.
“I wouldn’t say anything has faded except for the raw emotion of it and the trauma of going down there,” said McCarthy. “Sometimes you see people that you know, or family members, or you read somebody's name, and that brings you back to those moments too."
For about a year, McCarthy says he lived with his uniform in his car, alternating shifts in the Bronx and ground zero.
As first responders continue to die to this day from 9/11-related illnesses, McCarthy says that for him, “Never Forget” is more than just a slogan, but it’s the reality for him and other first responders.