Saturday, May 30, 2009
WORLD TRADE CENTER TASK FORCE INTERVIEW
DR. GLENN ASAEDA
Interview Date: October 11, 2001
Transcribed by Nancy Francis
MR. McALLISTER: This is Kevin McALLISTER
from the Bureau of Administration. It's October llth,
2001. We're in the south conference room at Fire
Department Headquarters. It is 1536 hours and I am
joined by. . .
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER DRURY: Assistant
Commissioner Jim Drury.
MR. McALLISTER: And . . .
DR. ASAEDA: Glenn Asaeda, M.D., Deputy
Medical Director with the Fire Department Medical
Q. DR. ASAEDA, I'd like to draw your attention
to September the llth, 2001, and get your recollections
of that day, if we could.
A. Yes. I was actually one of the physicians
for the Office of Medical Affairs that was coming on
duty as the on-call medical director for the system and
was actually headed to Manhattan for an unrelated
sexual assault task force meeting. I was actually on
the Long Island Expressway going towards the Midtown
Tunnel when I happened to look over to my left and
actually did see one of the towers, what appeared to
look like one of the top floors kind of smoking, but
from my angle, there were four smokestacks, I guess on
the Brooklyn side or the Manhattan side, just in front
of the towers, to a point where it looked like it was
actually smoke from the smokestacks, and I thought at
that point, wow, that's interesting, it really makes
the tower look like it's on fire.
I had just taken a bioterrorism course that
the Fire Department had offered, I think a month or two
months before downstairs, and at that time the
instructor from the federal government had said, do you
know how to tell if it's a good day for bioterrorism?
We had not known and they had explained to us that by
looking at the smoke from the smokestack you can tell.
If it rises straight into the air and dissipates, it's
a bad day for bioterrorism, good for the people because
what happens is anything released would go into the
air, we wouldn't breathe it in. A good day for
bioterrorism but bad for citizens would be a day where
the smoke seems to kind of hover, even come to the
ground, anything released could actually be inhaled.
So, as I looked at that, I thought, oh, potentially
this is a good day for bioterrorism. I was just
thinking that off the top of my head.
Then, as I was in traffic, I saw the car next
to me honking, flashing its lights, and often in a
marked car I get that. Can you tell me how to get to
Bellevue Hospital? Can you tell me where the corner of
this and that is? So I didn't think much of it. I
rolled down the window only to hear the driver say, did
you see the plane hit the World Trade Center? At that
point I realized it was a real situation, looked back
at the tower and thought, oh, my God, and for some
reason I felt why is the Citywide radio so quiet? I
didn't come to realize that, when I actually stopped
for coffee initially, I had forgotten to put the
Citywide back on. On my car it just doesn't
automatically go on.
Almost afraid to push the Citywide button, I
pressed it, got the radio to go on and it came to life,
and I hear the first thing, confirmed aircraft into the
World Trade Center tower, send me everything you've
got, and this is hard hat operation. As soon as I
heard that, I actually got on the cell phone with
Q. Do you think that was the first or the second
plane that had hit?
A. That was the first plane.
A. At that point, realizing that Commissioner
Claire was actually in Albany for a state EMS meeting,
I actually dug into my bag, got his cell phone number,
just to let him know, called him on the cell phone, and
at that point I was told, I'm watching it, I'm seeing
it on TV right now. Do me a favor and when you get in
on scene, give me another report. So I said okay, I
acknowledged that and started to roll in. At that
point, also, as I'm rolling, I called my wife just to
let her know that the plane had hit the tower, I'm
going to go in, just watch it on the news.
Probably about three minutes from the tunnel,
I ducked into the tunnel with traffic with the lights
and siren, and at that point didn't realize until later
that communications was lost for me. I didn't know
about the second aircraft. I think I had 1010 WINS on
trying to hear the news. In the tunnel, I didn't hear
any of that as well. I just remember, when I popped
out of the tunnel, that my adrenaline was so pumped, I
thought to myself, you've got to calm down, you've got
to relax a little bit and just concentrate on doing
what you have to do.
As I popped out of the tunnel, emergency
vehicles, marked and unmarked, from every aspect, just
in front of me, to the side of me, behind me, and I
realized that this is something I need to really be
careful as to how I'm driving because we're not usually
accustomed to so many vehicles going in one place.
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER DRURY: Excuse me.
Doctor, you said the tunnel. Which tunnel?
DR. ASAEDA: The Midtown Tunnel.
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER DRURY: Okay.
A. At this point almost a convoy of emergency
vehicles were going towards the World Trade Center.
Since I was on the east side, I continued all the way
down. As soon as I got towards the Brooklyn Bridge, I
could see more closely the smoke and just thousands of
people were just kind of running, walking towards the
Q. Were both of the buildings standing at that
point in time?
A. Yes, they were.
A. Again, still I had not realized about the
second plane hitting the tower. Also, because of the
bioterrorism course and just the threats, I'm thinking
to myself, I had just imagined that it was a single
engine Cessna type of plane, not knowing it was a
commercial airlines by any means. I kept thinking also
to myself, be careful, it still could be terrorism, it
could be bioterrorism, they could have had some kind of
chemicals and biological agents on board. I kept
thinking don't go downwind, don't go downwind. But
because of the flow of people, the direction that I was
hoping to take ended up putting me further south, which
actually put me directly downwind, and I remember
thinking to myself, oh, my God, this is where I don't
want to be. I turned off the air-conditioner, holding
my breath, as if that would work, thinking do you know
what? You're in the worst place.
As I rounded the corner, more emergency
vehicles now on the West Side Highway trying to get
north towards the towers, the next car that I saw
coming next to me was Chief Downey's vehicle.
Q. So you drove all the way south down the east
side and looped around --
Q. -- at the Battery and headed up West Street?
A. Correct. Because there were too many people
coming directly east. I knew that I couldn't go that
way. So as I rounded the bend by the ferry, got back
onto the west side, the next unmarked car that I saw
was Chief Downey. Now, I don't think he was driving
because I don't think I could have seen him that
clearly, but I remember that he looked in towards the
window of my vehicle, he smiled and actually waved, and
I actually remember saying verbally, hey, chief,
knowing that he couldn't hear me. But I particularly
remember Chief Downey because I've had the opportunity
of going on FEMA deployments with him to the Dominican
Republic and joining him when the Japanese firefighters
had come by, they wanted to speak to the S.O.C. chief
and whatnot. So he was I remember physically one of
the last people that I had known recognizing going to
As the first convoy had gone in front of me,
I actually diverted my vehicle to two ambulances that I
had seen right under the south walkway bridge. I saw
two ambulances, Fire Department ambulances, pulled up
next to them and said--
Q. That's the south bridge that crosses the West
A. Correct. The one that's still intact.
A. Or was still intact. At that point, I pulled
up next to the ambulances. I asked them, is this the
command post? They said no, it wasn't. I said, who
set you up here? I believe they were EMTs. I don't
think they were medics. They had said, there's so many
people running this way, we felt this was a good area
to be in. I said, it sounds good, just make sure to
let a lieutenant know where you are so he can account
for everyone, and I asked them, do you happen to know
where the command post is? They directed me to in
front of 1 World Trade Center on the West Side
Also, at this point I noticed just women's
shoes all over. I guess they had taken them off to
run. I guess they couldn't run in the heels and
Q. That was on West Street?
A. That was on West Street and even previously,
coming around from the east side to the west side, just
shoes all over, it was just interesting to see that,
along with the debris.
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER DRURY: If I may
DR. ASAEDA: Yes.
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER DRURY: You were
directed to the command center on West Street across
from 1 World Trade?
DR. ASAEDA: Correct.
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER DRURY: Did you in
fact reach that command post?
DR. ASAEDA: Yes, I did.
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER DRURY: Was that in
front of the World Financial Center?
DR. ASAEDA: Yes, it was.
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER DRURY: Okay.
A. So as I pulled my vehicle, I realized that
the West Side Highway had a lot of emergency vehicles.
I couldn't actually get onto that. I went up the
service road the wrong way with just the lights on, no
siren at this point, saw the people gathering, I would
say, 30 to 40 feet in front of the stairs of the World
Financial Center. I think they call it the American --
I don't know if that's the same as the American Express
Building or whatnot.
Q. No. 3 World Financial?
A. I would guess it would be 2, but I'm not sure
of the number.
Q. The American Express Building?
A. Yes, the World Financial. I remember parking
my car on Vesey and West on the corner, it was the
northwest corner. There were emergency vehicles there
as well. I was on the end double-parked and I thought
to myself, I don't want to block anyone. Again, not
realizing the magnitude of what was about to happen, I
thought to myself, I still have a meeting to go to in
about half an hour, so once I figure out what's going
on here and everything settles, I still need to be able
to pull my vehicle to go to the meeting. So I parked
my vehicle, remembered that it was a hard hat
operation, grabbed my helmet, grabbed my jacket and
proceeded to the command post.
While I was en route to the site, I actually
remember hearing the other physician's vehicle
designation arrive on scene, so I knew that he was on
seen probably about five to seven minutes before I had
Q. Who was that?
A. That was Dr. Cherson.
A. So I made it a point to, once reporting to
the command post just to find out what was going on, to
see if I could find the other physician as well. Since
he was the previous physician on call and first on the
scene, I figured I would let him take the lead and let
him direct me as to where he wanted me to go.
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER DRURY: At what time
was it now, do you know, doctor, approximately?
DR. ASAEDA: This must have been, I would
say -- it turns out it was after the second aircraft
had crashed but before the first building. I don't
remember the exact time of the second plane, but 9:10,
9:15, somewhere in that time frame.
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER DRURY: Yes.
A. But even at this point, I still didn't
realize that a plane had hit. Again, being so close
and looking up, I couldn't even see the other building
really from where I was standing. I walked over to the
command post. At that point I remember seeing a piece
of debris fall from the north tower, literally past us,
and hit the World Financial Center behind us and come
down, and the only reason I saw that is everyone was
kind of looking up going, whoa! I kind of looked up
and I thought, wow, this is very close.
By the same token, I had looked up at the
same time and noticed what I thought was debris turning
out to be people, and at first I just couldn't imagine
it would be people, but as they landed I was pretty
sure it was people. I thought, well, they must be
unconscious or falling out. Upon looking closer, there
were some people t h a t seemed t o be on f i r e coming down,
some t h a t looked l i k e rag d o l l s coming down, but a t
l e a s t 70 percent of them a c t u a l l y f l a i l e d u n t i l they
h i t t h e ground and one, I mean, they looked l i k e a n t s
from t h e d i s t a n c e we were a t , but a c t u a l l y looking l i k e
he or she wanted t o get t o t h e next window.
I remember thinking under my b r e a t h and
saying out loud t h a t I could hear myself, I go, oh, my
God, p l e a s e , no, no, no, no, and they were jumping.
I ' v e seen people, you know, I ' v e worked as a paramedic
i n t h e p a s t i n C a l i f o r n i a , s o I ' v e seen people jump as
high as 25 s t o r i e s , but t h a t was very d i f f e r e n t i n t h a t
i n t h a t it was j u s t kind of, oh, my gosh, and they
h i t . Here, with four times t h e h e i g h t , it was kind of
an oh, my God, oh, my God, oh, my God, u n t i l they
f i n a l l y h i t .
At t h a t point I had met D r . Cherson and t h e
paramedic a i d e t h a t was with him, Paramedic Delgado
from our o f f i c e as well.
Q. I s t h i s a t t h e command post?
A. This i s a t t h e command post, i n i t i a l l y across
t h e s t r e e t from World Trade Center.
Q. Who e l s e was a t t h e command post a t t h i s
A. I remember seeing Chief Ganci. I also
remember Chief Downey speaking to Commissioner Von
Essen walking in front of me. Also, at about this time
Mayor Giuliani and his entourage had actually walked
behind us, and then a couple of fire chiefs that I had
seen from the training or whatnot, but I couldn't
recall their names, some of the Dominican Republic
staff as well that had been sent.
Q. Was Commissioner Feehan there?
A. I had briefly seen him, but I can't remember
exactly where I had seen him.
A. At this point, as I was standing in front of
the command post looking to try to take in what was
going on, Dr. Cherson came back to me and said that
they were going to move the command post into the lobby
of 1 World Trade Center. So at that time he said to me
he was going to go in there with Paramedic Delgado,
Manny Delgado, and he wanted me to take the EMS fellow
who was with us and go to 7 World Trade, where they had
set up one of the first treatment areas.
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER DRURY: Now, was this
going to be the EMS command post or the Fire Department
DR. ASAEDA: This was going to be an EMS
A. So I agreed to it, and one of the -- I can't
remember who it was but he actually brought over one of
the antidote kits from one of our vehicles. I almost
chuckled at that time thinking, even if it were, one
kit is not enough for all the potential patients, but
we brought it with us. We went into the loading dock
of 7 World Trade, which was right adjacent to the
telephone company building, I believe, on Vesey.
A. I remember as we were walking there was smoke
coming from the World Trade Center and what seemed to
be in front parts of -- in retrospect, I guess it was
parts of the plane or whatnot, debris from the plane,
debris from the building, and I had also heard that
there were people around, but I didn't get a close
enough look to see what kind of status they were in.
We walked into the loading dock where Captain
Abdo of the Fire Department, EMS, had already
established a treatment area, and we were using the
START system, which is the simple triage and rapid
transport, where we color code our victims into red for
immediate, yellow for injury but not immediate, green
for walking wounded and black for dead at this point,
and he had set up the loading dock into these separate
areas and there were a few patients there as well. I
remember, again, walking towards the treatment area
thinking this is awfully close, we need to work on
getting it a little bit further out, and I started
seeing a few patients that were there.
The first gentleman for some reason I
remember particularly. He was a gentleman in his
seventies. He had said that he was on the 59th floor
of the first tower that got struck. He was actually
ordering some kind of food at that cafeteria, I think
it's at the 59th floor, I'm pretty sure, and thought
that, when he heard the explosion, that it was the
kitchen oven. He heard that other people said they
don't know what it is but it's time to evacuate, so he
actually came down the staircase, and he was just
sitting there because he was tired he was in the. So
green category of a walking wounded. I remember
thinking to myself, if he was able to make it out, then
it sounds like most people are going to be able to get
out, and I was relieved to hear that.
As I went to another patient, I remember a
Secret Service or security from 7 World Trade Center
person saying to me, did you hear that the Pentagon
just got hit by another plane? Again, not knowing
about the second plane still at this point, I thought,
oh, my God. Then he said, and there's another plane
missing. So at that point was the first point that I
realized that this was a terrorist -- an intentional
act, again, not knowing that the second plane had
So I thought we really need to move this out
because I had a feeling they were going to come back
for us. Just as soon as I had thought that, I heard
what I thought was a jet engine plane. In retrospect,
it turns out that it was the first tower coming down.
We grabbed whatever patients we could, and what I did
was I turned to my left and ducked into the little --
there was, I guess, a little connection between the
lobby of 7 and the loading dock. The loading dock, I
do remember thinking that it looked very secure, thick
concrete and whatnot, and we all crammed, probably
about 30 of us, into this little alcove between the
lobby and the loading dock.
. and he nexL ~ h i n gI
noticed, t h a t j e t engine sound and then a loud crash
and then p i t c h black. Then --
Q. J u s t p r i o r t o t h a t , were t h e r e e l e c t r i c a l
l i g h t s where you were?
A. Yes, t h e r e were.
Q. Did they s t a y on?
A. No, they did n o t .
A. I remember thinking t h a t t h i s was it f o r me.
I r e a l l y thought t h a t t h i s was a n o t h e r p l a n e coming and
I thought t h i s was it. I remember p u t t i n g t h e v i s o r of
my helmet down, grabbing t h e chin s t r a p and j u s t kind
of s q u a t t i n g where I was a t . A f t e r I r e a l i z e d t h a t we
a c t u a l l y made it through t h i s i n i t i a l whatever it was,
it was so dark that I actually thought they had closed
the loading bay doors as a security measure for us, but
it turns out it was just the debris and the smoke and
whatnot that made it pitch black.
Q. The doors were still open?
A. They were still open.
A. I've heard in the past that, you know, these
disasters are so dark that people put their hands in
front of their face and couldn't see anything. I used
to laugh at them and think how dark can that be? But
really, it was so dark, you couldn't see the hand in
front of your face. At that point we realized that the
building we were in was still up, we needed to get out,
but just didn't know where to go, a little
disoriented. Any lighting equipment, which I actually
didn't have, but any of the EMTs, I would say there
were about eight of us, eight EMTs and medics, as well
as the Captain and myself, EMS, we realized that we
needed to get out, but none of us -- they hadn't
brought their flashlights to the area we just dove
into. We didn't know which way to go. People were
yelling, I can't breathe, I can't breathe, and I
remember from the bioterrorism course thinking, again,
it could be bioterrorism, that they had said that even
if you didn't have a mask, just take your tie and put
it on your face, that seems to eliminate 80 percent of
what may be around you. I remember thinking, they said
this would work, they said this would work, and tried
to breathe through this, but still everything in my
mouth and whatnot.
Now, trying to make the escape out, I didn't
know which way to go. Someone yelled, I think it's
this way, and somebody had a camera, whether it was a
photographer or whatnot, and I remember the person was
flashing his camera towards us saying come towards the
flash. So we made it to the flash, still pitch black,
by chance met up with Captain Abdo from EMS, and I
said, are all of our EMS people accounted for? He
said, yes, they are. I said, then we need to get out
of here. Then I said, oh, and we've got to get the
patients, because at this point it was kind of, you
know, we've got to get the patients as well, grabbed
whoever we could. Luckily, they were for the most part
all walking wounded, and even the ones that were lying
were at this point up and had ducked with us.
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER DRURY: Let me stop
you there, Doctor.
DR. ASAEDA: Yes.
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER DRURY: You said there
were about 30 people you crammed into this little
alcove or pathway from the loading area to the lobby of
7 World Trade.
DR. ASAEDA: Correct.
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER DRURY: Did you know
any of those other people?
DR. ASAEDA: Just the EMS personnel. I
didn't recognize any of the Fire side personnel. Also
I recognized one of the security personnel from 7 World
Trade just because I used to go there weekly for the
Mayor's PAD, public access defibrillation meeting. I
recognized him. I also recognized the person who said
he was either Secret Service or security, not as
knowing him but just as he was next to me when we dove
for cover, and then the patients who we had brought
with us. But other than that, I didn't recognize any
A. At that point, we got to the exit, made a
decision to evacuate, got the patients, still not
knowing which way to go because we really hadn't been
able to determine what actually came down or what had
happened. The decision was either to go left or right
and we ended up going right, between the two buildings,
in the alleyway on the north, which turned out to be
the right direction because apparently there was a lot
of debris and part of 7 down already. Also, I did
notice as I was making my exit the sound of the
firefighters' alarms indicating that they were down. I
did remember that as well but just could not see
As we got into the alleyway, it just started
to get a little bit lighter, almost like a dusk/dawn
type of deal. We got through the alleyway, got half a
block up -- I don't even remember which block that was,
but saw one of the first ambulances, I think it was a
Cabrini ambulance, one of the voluntary hospital
ambulances with people just crammed on board. I made
the decision to remove them because they were not
hurt. I said, we have patients that are hurt. We
loaded three or four and I remember just hitting the
side of the ambulance and saying, go, go, go, go, and
the driver, the EMT or medic, shouted back or looked
back, where are we supposed to go? I said, just go
north, just go north. So they took off.
I saw another ambulance. At this point,
also, I saw people from OEM. Eddie Gabriel, who is one
of our EMS c h i e f s , was over t h e r e coming i n with -- I
think he had somebody on h i s arm. We saw p o l i c e
o f f i c e r s . There were some f i r e f i g h t e r s now i n gear but
not recognizable because of t h e d u s t . I d i d n ' t
remember any i d e n t i f y i n g markers on them e i t h e r .
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER DRURY: Where was t h i s
now, Doctor? On West S t r e e t ?
DR. ASAEDA: This i s a c t u a l l y on -- l e t ' s
s e e . This was West. This was Vesey. We took t h e
l i t t l e alleyway between t h e telephone b u i l d i n g and 7
World Trade, ended up on t h e n e x t b l o c k .
Q. Park Place? Murray?
A. It may have been Murray. There was a parking
l o t adjacent t o it. It was a smaller s t r e e t . I think
may have been Park Place.
Q. Yes, I think so, too.
A. Then a t t h a t point I saw some of t h e OEM
people t h a t I recognized, j u s t happy t o see t h a t they
were okay. I got t o t h e next ambulance, put people on
board. At t h a t point my beeper was going o f f . It j u s t
seemed t o be t h e only thing t h a t was a c t u a l l y going
o f f . It t u r n e d o u t t o be my wife c a l l i n g because she
had heard t h a t I was going, and while I ' m t r y i n g t o
coordinate everybody going, I a c t u a l l y picked up t h e
phone and t r i e d t o d i a l . It d i d n ' t go through.
Once I got them on t h e ambulance, I a c t u a l l y
stopped and looked a t t h e corner and saw t h a t t h e r e was
a pay phone and thought t o myself, t h i s i s a Verizon
phone. There's no way t h a t would be working. I
thought, well, I have nothing t o l o s e a t t h i s p o i n t . I
dug i n t o my pocket, happened t o f i n d a q u a r t e r , t h e
only change I had, and I thought t o myself, i t ' s
probably with my luck one of those 35-cent phones
anyway, you know, i t ' s going t o be l i k e t h a t . I get
t h e r e , pick it up, i t ' s a 25-cent c a l l , d i a l tone i s
t h e r e s u r p r i s i n g l y , dropped a q u a r t e r i n and a c t u a l l y
it goes through.
knew t h a t you were going t o be t h e r e , t h e f i r s t tower
came down. I s a i d , l i s t e n , calm down. I ' m okay. I ' m
not going t o do anything t o endanger myself f u r t h e r .
I ' m okay. Do me a f a v o r , c a l l my mom i n San Francisco,
l e t her know t h a t I ' m okay, and then I hung up t h e
phone. I s a i d , I ' l l c a l l you when I can, and then
proceeded back towards t h e north tower.
At t h a t point I stopped myself and thought t o
myself, you've got t o be smart about t h i s . The f i r s t
tower came down. There's a g r e a t chance t h a t t h e
second one might as well. So I went back up half a
block through the parking lot and then back onto West.
Q. You didn't know about the second plane at
this point, but you knew the second tower was burning?
A. I didn't even know that the second tower was
burning because I had no information that the second
tower was hit.
A. So all the way up until the Secret Service or
the security, whoever he happened to be, told me that
the other plane was missing, that one plane had hit the
Pentagon and another was missing, up until that point I
knew nothing of a potential terrorist attack. It was
only in my mind thinking in this day and age, it could
be terrorism, so be careful. As a matter of fact, when
I saw all that dust come through, I thought at that
point, while I was walking, I thought, this must be
anthrax. I mean, that's something that definitely went
through my mind.
So at that point all our patients were onto
the ambulances, our EMS group kind of disbanded, but I
saw Captain Abdo on West and -- again, I'm not familiar
with it. It's about one block further north of where 7
used to be. I met him at the corner and at that point
we were l i t e r a l l y thinking of going back towards 1
World Trade, knowing t h a t t h e command post was t h e r e ,
stopped o u r s e l v e s t h i n k i n g we've got t o be smart about
t h i s , t h i s i s something e l s e t h a t might come down, and
as we had thought t h a t , t h e sound before t h e s i g h t
coming, saw t h e second tower a c t u a l l y come down and
then heard it afterwards, a t which point a l l of us
t u r n e d n o r t h and s t a r t e d running. We got about a
block, maybe h a l f a block, ducked i n t o a l i t t l e alcove
where t h e r e were probably 30 p o l i c e o f f i c e r s ,
f i r e f i g h t e r s , again, I d o n ' t recognize any s h i e l d
numbers or helmet numbers, a g a i n s t t h e wall, when o t h e r
cops ran by and s a i d , you're j u s t not fucking f a r
enough. So we turned around and r a n n o r t h , a t which
point t h e plume of t h e smoke, again, kind of a warm
f e e l i n g came by us, l u c k i l y no d e b r i s , almost kind of
l i f t i n g us and then kind of surrounding us again.
Then, a t t h a t p o i n t , when everything s e t t l e d ,
we s e t up a n o t h e r t r e a t m e n t area a t t h e corner of --
what corner i s t h a t ? I d o n ' t r e c a l l . I t ' s j u s t south
of Chambers, about a block south of Chambers. We s e t
up a n o t h e r t r e a t m e n t area, s t a r t e d t o see some of t h e
walking wounded. There weren't too many people
s e r i o u s l y i n j u r e d . There were some f i r e f i g h t e r s t h a t
were complaining of smoke, of just inhalation and
dust. We gave them some oxygen. That I'm sure was
tracked because I had our EMT write down the names, but
I can't recall any names.
There was one firefighter that he had given
me his name, I actually wrote it down, I still have,
saying that I'm sure they think I'm missing, please
notify command that I'm okay. That I actually wrote
down and I actually went to one of the chiefs and they
took the name down, but their communications weren't
100 percent either. So they were trying to do what
they could. I made that initial report.
At that point, while we were treating some
patients and not more than maybe ten if that, they said
there's suspicious packages around. I think the police
officers came by and said we needed to evacuate. So we
actually walked everyone further north another block
and this time got to the Borough of Manhattan Community
College and up on, I guess in their gymnasium area, up
the stairs, we set up an area. We wanted to try to
keep people like myself who were contaminated kind of
out, keeping the area relatively fresh. So people who
were covered like myself were kind of treating people
on the outside, and those that were clean, those people
were inside giving oxygen and water.
We were probably there for about 20, 30
minutes, when we were told that there's suspicious
packages again, and this time people were running
towards north again saying that there's a gas leak. So
we evacuated everybody and started running again, and
at this point I think we all decided we're going to get
as far north as we could, decided to go to Chelsea, and
I thought that was a good area because just being there
initially realizing this was really going to be a body
recovery, unfortunately, I thought that the ice rink
would be a good place for a temporary morgue. I had
heard in the past, I have a friend that works at DEA,
that that was a huge facility.
As a matter of fact, I took one of the
Japanese firefighters from Tokyo, who was interested in
that kind of thing, while he was visiting the Fire
Department here, he wanted me to stop by there just to
see what kind of health facilities they had to take
back to Japan with him. So I remember actually seeing
the facility and remembering that it was large enough
that, if they would allow us to use that facility, that
would be an ideal location.
Then, as I was running, an ambulance, I don't
even know who it was, I think it was a volunteer
ambulance p u l l e d up and j u s t y e l l e d , Doc, jump i n . We
were jumping i n t o t h e ambulance, seven o t h e r people,
kind of a l l i n d i s a r r a y . I remember thinking what j u s t
happened? Then I was dropped off a t Chelsea, met with
Chief Pascale and Chief Kowalczyk, who were a t t h a t
point f o r EMS command, and then we decided t o s e t t h e
h o s p i t a l area t h e r e .
About an hour a f t e r , they asked f o r us t o
r e t u r n back t o t h e -- I guess t h e F i r e command post on
Chambers and West. Then a couple hours t h e r e a f t e r , you
know, we were t r y i n g t o evaluate t h e b e s t we could, 7
came down. I remember running again and some of t h e
F i r e guys s t a r t e d running and stopped and I guess they
r e a l i z e d t h a t we were f a r away enough. But I remember
I j u s t kept running u n t i l -- I f i g u r e d u n t i l I see
everything down, I ' l l keep running. I got about a
block and then r e a l i z e d , okay, maybe I was a l i t t l e
s i l l y . But I walked back t o t h e command post, and then
we t r i e d t o come up w i t h a plan.
Then f o r t h e r e s t of t h e night we were t r y i n g
t o s e t up a h o s p i t a l area, one a t Stuyvesant High
School, which we were a b l e t o s e t up, a l s o t r y i n g t o
s e t up some s t r i k e teams up near t h e rubble p i l e ,
r e a l l y mainly f o r rescuers a t t h i s p o i n t , j u s t
r e a l i z i n g t h e r e wasn't going t o be many victims, but i n
case a victim was p u l l e d o u t . I was t h e r e f o r about
t h e next, I t h i n k , t o t a l of l i k e 28 hours on t h e f i r s t
day, j u s t t r y i n g t o coordinate what we could,
communicating with OEM as well as t o t h e f e d e r a l a s s e t s
t h a t were coming. We heard t h a t t h e DEMAT teams were
coming, a l s o t h a t t h e FEMA USAR t a s k f o r c e t h i n g s were
By t h i s p o i n t , John C l a i r e , Commissioner
C l a i r e , as well as D r . Gonzalez and D r . Richmond, who
were a l s o a t t h e u p s t a t e meeting, were flown back
apparently by s t a t e trooper h e l i c o p t e r . This was
probably t h r e e , four hours i n t o it, I think by 1 1 : O O or
12:OO i n t h e afternoon, and they were t r y i n g t o
coordinate what they could from t h e i r s i t e . At t h a t
p o i n t , D r . Gonzalez, who i s r e a l l y i n charge of our
New York t a s k f o r c e , USAR, Urban Search and Rescue
Team, decided t h a t he would put t o g e t h e r some semblance
of a team t o do some of t h e rescue e f f o r t s . So p a r t of
our o b l i g a t i o n , myself, as being t h e doctor t h e r e
throughout t h e n i g h t , would be t o cover t h e main
medical command as well a s t h e USAR a c t i v i t i e s as
At this same point, I heard that Dr. Prezant
and/or Dr. Kelly had set up something at Pace, on that
side. Initially, Dr. Cherson had set something up at
the Liberty Street side, I think by the ferries. So I
knew that we had good coverage in the areas. Then the
rest of it was just trying to set up and coordinate. A
lot of volunteers, medical staff and whatnot, came up
very early, but I don't think they realized what
magnitude of disaster this was. I had surgeons, I
think 30 surgeons from a college conference at one of
the hotels showed up by busload saying we're surgeons,
we're here to help. I said, it would be great, but
there's no one to pull out at this point. If you don't
mind loading the water, that's what we're going to need
at this point, you know, we sent everybody to Chelsea
Piers and set up things over there.
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER DRURY:
any patients that night?
DR. ASAEDA: Yes.
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER DRURY:
DR. ASAEDA: All the patients
Did you see
that I saw were
rescuers in some shape or form. None were from the
initial collapse. A lot of things in their eyes, which
we washed out, some respiratory complaints, some minor
bumps and bruises, someone that actually needed some
sutures and whatnot. The way we had it set up was that
anyone who needed a transport would be placed onto the
ambulance and actually sent to the hospital because we
also coordinated with the hospitals to find out what
they could handle and we were told that initially they
got some of the burns and the sick patients from the
initial planes, but that was only a few hundred
throughout the hospitals. We looked at Downtown
Beekman, Bellevue, St. Vincent's, as far as Cabrini as
well, and we were told that, after the initial wave,
they weren't getting any patients, they were ready, so
we knew that we didn't really need to do too much
treatment on the scene, we would try to go back to the
way that things are normally run in these disasters
where we'd do an initial triage, do basic treatment
that we can, and then ship them to the hospital. We
felt that's where they would better be served. But it
turned out that there weren't that many victims from
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER DRURY: Just a couple
DR. ASAEDA: Yes.
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER DRURY: When did you
find out for the first time that a second plane had hit
the other tower?
DR. ASAEDA: This was after, I guess after my
initial run and as I was looking at the north tower and
thinking of going back, they had said, yeah, did you
hear the second plane hit that as well? Then I started
to put things together thinking this was obviously a
terrorist attack. But not until then, again, I think
mainly because I was in the tunnel when the second
plane had hit and Citywide at some spots apparently
doesn't come through and the traffic was to hard to get
on that I actually I got on the radio to tell them, 784
was my identifier for the day, 784, show me
responding. I just could not get through after about
three attempts and just tried to go on by computer, but
that was logged as well, so I couldn't actually log on
Again, in retrospect, maybe I should have had
an FM station on. That would have at least given me
the news. But not thinking to that extent, I just had
1010 WINS on. It must have taken me -- you know, I
must have found out about the first plane maybe five to
ten minutes after it actually hit because I actually do
remember seeing the smoke. I was in the tunnel when
the second plane hit, popped out probably soon
thereafter, and then with everything was trying to get
on scene and listen to the radio. Again, I didn't hear
anything about a confirmed second crash, either that or
I just wasn't paying close enough attention or just
didn't know about the second plane.
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER DRURY: My other
question has to do with West Street.
DR. ASAEDA: Yes.
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER DRURY: Either when
you were coming over to 7 World Trade for the first
time or after you evacuated 7 World Trade after the
first collapse, did you notice a lot of rigs and buses
lined up on West Street from like the command post on
DR. ASAEDA: I remember more particularly on
West Street, the south end of West Street, between the
south tower and the first tower, I would guess, a lot
of vehicles, heavy fire rescue vehicles and ambulances
as well. I don't remember as many north of Vesey. I
do remember there was like a ladder truck on the corner
of West and Vesey, actually on West, on the northbound
lane facing the opposite direction. That vehicle I do
remember and then s p o r a d i c a l l y here and t h e r e some
o t h e r v e h i c l e s as well.
Where I parked my v e h i c l e , I remember t h e
v e h i c l e I parked next t o was a t r a f f i c enforcement
v e h i c l e , and then t h e r e were some -- they looked l i k e I
think it was a marked, no l i g h t , f i r e p r o t e c t i o n type
v e h i c l e I had seen as well, i f I remember.
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER DRURY: Was your
v e h i c l e destroyed?
DR. ASAEDA: Yes, it was.
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER DRURY: Chief Downey's
v e h i c l e , can you d e s c r i b e it, when you saw i t ?
DR. ASAEDA: It was a dark-colored, unmarked
c a r . I thought it was kind of p a r t i c u l a r l y odd i n t h a t
he looked t o me l i k e he was s i t t i n g i n t h e back s e a t ,
behind t h e passenger, which would seem odd t o me
because I would think t h a t , I guess, i f he wasn't
d r i v i n g himself, he would be i n t h e p a s s e n g e r ' s s i d e .
But i n r e t r o s p e c t , he could have been i n t h e
p a s s e n g e r ' s s i d e a s well because he a c t u a l l y moved
r i g h t p a s t me, not very quickly but j u s t enough f o r me
t o a c t u a l l y recognize him and say, oh, Chief, and then
he got i n f r o n t of me. Again, once we got onto West
S t r e e t from t h e south end, t h e r e were probably 20 t o 30
v e h i c l e s already parked and t h e n a n o t h e r 20 v e h i c l e s
t r y i n g t o get through, so I r e a l i z e d t h a t I would not
be a b l e t o continue. As Chief Downey's v e h i c l e went
forward and, again, seeing t h e ambulances on t h e l e f t ,
I decided t o go t h e r e , a t l e a s t j u s t get out of t h e
t r a f f i c p a t t e r n . Then t h a t a c t u a l l y worked i n my
b e n e f i t because I was a b l e t o bring t h e v e h i c l e up t h e
s i d e s t r e e t , t h e s e r v i c e road.
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER DRURY: Anything e l s e ,
MR. McALLISTER: I d o n ' t have any f u r t h e r
q u e s t i o n s . Do you have any o t h e r r e c o l l e c t i o n s or
observations t o share with us, Doctor?
DR. ASAEDA: T h a t ' s about everything. I
mean, obviously, a l l t h e v o l u n t e e r s , I know t h a t
everyone had g r e a t i n t e n t i o n s , but I guess they d i d n ' t
r e a l i z e t h e e x t e n t of t h i n g s . J u s t a tragedy.
Also, t h e o t h e r t h i n g I remember i s we used
t o have an EMT t h a t worked here who was a c t u a l l y on t h e
86th f l o o r of t h e World Trade b u i l d i n g and I thought t o
myself, he must be i n t h e r e . I thought he was gone,
very a f r a i d t o c a l l h i s family, as he was a f r a i d t o
c a l l me. When I f i n a l l y found out he was okay v i a t h e
o f f i c e here, I c a l l e d him and he had s a i d t h a t he
a c t u a l l y was a l s o an a u x i l i a r y f i r e f i g h t e r here i n New
York City and had some thoughts of becoming a
f i r e f i g h t e r e a r l i e r . But he s a i d a s he was making h i s
evacuation and seeing t h e f i r e f i g h t e r s come up f u l l y
loaded with t h e i r gear and t h e i r hoses going up t o t h e
f l o o r s t o f i g h t t h e f i r e s , he s a i d he was thanking
everyone, thank you f o r what you do, thank you f o r what
you do, and he s a i d a l l thoughts of ever being a
f i r e f i g h t e r went r i g h t out t h e door f o r him t h e r e .
I can only imagine what they must have been
going through, and hearing t h a t t h e r e ' s 343
f i r e f i g h t e r s l o s t , i n i t i a l l y , over 300 i n i t i a l l y , j u s t
t h e thought of t h a t i s j u s t tremendous, but when I
a c t u a l l y saw t h e names on t h e l i s t , it made me think
t w i c e a g a i n and a l s o looking a t t h e p i c t u r e s . Now, not
r e c a l l i n g t h e names e x a c t l y , s e e i n g t h e p i c t u r e s , I
recognized one of t h e faces and I r e a l i z e d t h a t t h e r e
were more people t h a t I knew through t h e Dominican
Republic deployment or even through t h e b i o t e r r o r i s m
course. I d o n ' t remember i f h e ' s a c h i e f . I think
i t ' s Chief Fanning or Captain Fanning was l o s t as
well. I saw h i s p i c t u r e on t h a t . There was another
chief t h a t was on t h a t l i s t as well t h a t I recognized
from t h e c l a s s and i t ' s j u s t h o r r i f i c . Not t h a t not
knowing them makes any difference, but it just adds
that personal touch that makes it really sad.
I didn't realize that Commissioner Feehan
actually lived in the neighborhood that I just moved to
a couple of months ago, and so once I got off the World
Trade Center site, I heard about his wake the night
before and went to the funeral, and it's just very hard
to take, as I'm sure you know. Just devastating.
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER DRURY: Thank you,
DR. ASAEDA: Sure. Thank you very much.
MR. McALLISTER: Thank you very much,
DR. ASAEDA: If you need anything more,
please let me know.
MR. McALLISTER: I'm just going to conclude
the interview it's 1612 hours on October 11th and we
are concluding the interview. Thank you
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Firemen have a culture of death. There are rituals, carefully constructed for the living, to process the dead. And so on Sept. 11, when members of Engine Company 40, Ladder Company 35 discovered that every man from their house who responded to the World Trade Center attack -- 12, including a captain and a lieutenant -- had disappeared, they descended on the site in droves, prepared, at the very least, to perform the rite of carrying out their own. Several who had been on vacation in Maryland barreled into their cars and raced up the Interstate, arriving within hours. Others, who got to the firehouse only to find there were no more vehicles, commandeered anything with wheels -- taxis, Red Cross vans, buses.
Eventually, they located their engine and ladder trucks, covered in soot, near ground zero, and tried to ''visualize,'' as one of them later put it, what had happened: where the men had gone, what their last movements might have been. By the rigs, they found some of the missing firefighters' extra shoes, a discarded shirt, a pair of sunglasses. Slowly, in makeshift teams, they fanned out into the rubble, trying to retrace their steps, searching for air pockets. But there was nothing to be found. It was as if the fire had consumed not just the living but the rites of the dead as well.
Then, that evening, as the number of the missing grew into the thousands, word spread that rescue workers had found someone -- a member of Engine 40, Ladder 35. He had been buried under rubble. What's more, he was alive. The men hurried to the hospital, hoping he could tell them where the others might still be trapped. ''If there was one,'' said Steve Kelly, a veteran member of the house, ''we were hopeful he could lead us to the others.''
When they got there he was lying in bed awake. He had fractured his neck in three places and severed his thumb, but he seemed alert and happy to see them. After they embraced, they began to pepper him with questions. Do you remember where you were? they asked. ''No,'' he said. Do you know where the others were before the towers came down? He looked at them utterly perplexed. ''The towers came down?'' he asked.
I first heard the story of the survivor who couldn't remember what no one else could forget as I went from house to house reporting on the Fire Department's recovery. Initially, I assumed it was one of the many myths that had begun to circulate, but when I visited Engine 40, Ladder 35 one afternoon, a firefighter told me that there was in fact one survivor in their company -- a man named Kevin Shea -- who had some kind of amnesia. He said Shea was still in the hospital, but I left him my number, and a few days later the phone rang and a peculiar voice said: ''This is Firefighter Kevin Shea. How can I help you?''
The next morning I went to meet Shea at his firehouse on Amsterdam Avenue and 66th Street. It was only two weeks after the attack, and he had just gotten out of the hospital. ''Technically, I'm not supposed to be working,'' he said, ''but I can still answer phones, and I thought it might help to be near the guys.'' He wore a thick neck brace that pressed against his chin, thrusting his face forward. He is a handsome mix of Italian and Irish, with intense brown eyes; but the doctors had shaved his head, making his features seem disconcertingly stark, and as he bent to answer the phone I could see curving along his scalp a long gash flecked with dried blood. ''I fractured the fifth vertebra in my neck,'' he said. Although his doctors were still skeptical, he said he was determined to make it back as a fireman. ''I don't want to be a pencil pusher,'' he said.
Outside the firehouse, people were gathering to light candles. As word spread that Shea was there, more and more of them came inside. He had become, in a strange way, a shrine for the living -- the hero who had made it out. At one point a little girl walked in with her mother and handed him a donation for the company. ''Thank you so much for what you did,'' she said. He smiled awkwardly and extended his good hand to take the check. But as each person streamed in, approaching him and shaking his hand, he grew more and more uncomfortable. ''This isn't about me,'' he told one man who praised his courage. And while he had agreed to let me document his recovery over the next several months, after the last person had trickled out, he turned to me, his face ashen, and said, ''Please don't make me out to be a hero.''
As he glanced around the room, taking in all the emblems of the dead -- photos of the missing men, piles of donations, a notice for a memorial -- he started to fidget nervously. He said he had no way of knowing what he had done in those crucial moments. ''Maybe I panicked and /-.'' He closed his eyes as if trying to conjure something out of the blankness. He seemed haunted not just by the gaps in his past but also by a single question that they prevented him from answering: had he survived because he was a hero, as everyone treated him, or because, as he feared, he was somehow a ''coward,'' someone who had abandoned his men? ''I like to think I was the type of person who was trying to push someone out of the way to save them . . . and not the type who ran in fear,'' he said. ''But I can't remember anything, no matter how hard I try. It's like my memory collapsed with the building, and now I have to piece the whole thing back together again.''
There are some things he does remember. He remembers Mike D'Auria, a 25-year-old rookie with a bright Mayan tattoo on his leg. He remembers Frank Callahan, his captain, and Mike Lynch, another firefighter who was about to get married. He remembers what they carried: a Halligan, a maul, an ax, a Rabbit Tool, 8-penny nails, utility ropes, wire cutters, chucks and a screwdriver. He remembers waking on Sept. 11 and the alarm sounding at the firehouse at 9:13. He remembers them getting on the rigs. He remembers the rigs. He remembers asking the lieutenant if he thought it was a terrorist attack and the lieutenant saying yes and them riding in silence.
There are other things he remembers, too. He remembers his nickname, Ric-o-Shea. He remembers his age, 34, and his favorite color, yellow. He remembers growing up on Long Island and hiding from the other kids in a giant cardboard box. He remembers his parents fighting and his mother moving out when he was 13. He remembers some things even if he doesn't want to -- things that refuse to dissolve, along with all the insignificant memories, with the passage of time.
Memory is a code to who we are, a collection of not just dates and facts but also of epic emotional struggles, epiphanies, transformations. ''Memory is absolutely critical to our identity,'' says Daniel L. Schacter, a psychologist and expert in the field of memory research. And in the wake of tragedy, it is vital to recovery. After a traumatic event people tend to store a series of memories and arrange them into a meaningful narrative. They remember exactly where they were and to whom they were talking. But what does one do when the narrative is shattered, when some -- or most -- of the pieces of the puzzle are missing?
In the last week of September, I went with Shea to visit the St. Charles Hospital and Rehabilitation Center in Long Island. The doctors still didn't know if he was blocking out what had happened as a result of physical or psychological blows or both. A neuropsychologist named Mark Sandberg greeted Shea in the lobby and led him into a small, cluttered office. ''I know very little about you,'' Sandberg said, closing the door as Shea sat nervously crossing and uncrossing his legs. ''So what do you remember?''
Shea said: ''I can tell you what I remember and what I was told. I remember responding to the scene. I'm in Ladder 35, but they have an engine in there as well and they had a free seat. I wasn't working that day, and I said, 'Can I jump on?'''
The doctor seemed surprised. ''You were off-duty that day?''
Shea explained that he was buffing, or volunteering, which was ''the right thing to do.'' Then he added: ''So the officer gave me permission, and I . . . went down the West Side Highway. . . . We noticed car fires and debris falling everywhere -- like big falling carpets. There were pieces of metal and glass. And people were falling --.''
''Do you recall that or did someone tell you that?''
Shea closed his eyes. ''I recall that.''
Sandberg made several notes, then asked Shea to go on. On the way to the scene, Shea said, he pulled out the video camera that he sometimes used to document fire scenes for training. ''I remember putting it in the plastic bag and putting it back in my coat,'' he said. ''I knew I couldn't be filming that long.'' He then prepared to go into the chaos. ''I don't remember anything after that, except waking up in the hospital.''
''Are your memories back after that?''
''Yes, they started to come back. They were in and out. They were drugging me at the time, with morphine, I think. They said I was conscious, but I don't know.''
''You can be conscious and have no memory. It's called post-traumatic amnesia.''
''That's what this is?''
''That's what I'm trying to understand.''
Shea fidgeted with his bandages. ''Some say it's better not to remember. Maybe the fact that I don't know if I was trying to save someone, maybe that's helping me deal with the post-stress . . . or whatever you call it.''
Sandberg asked how many men from his house were lost. For the first time, Shea looked up from the bandages he'd been fidgeting with. ''All of them,'' he said. ''All of them but me.''
He had never intended to become a fireman. Though he came from a long line of firefighters -- his grandfather and uncle and father and older brother Brian were all firemen -- he didn't fit the stereotype. He wasn't, as he put it, ''a typical macho.'' He was smaller and more bookish than the other men; he didn't drink or like sports. Initially, he embarked on a career in computer software, at which he excelled, but by 1998 he felt compelled to follow in the family tradition.
When he was first assigned to Engine 40, Ladder 35, last summer, he showed up at 3 in the morning. The men were going out on a call, and when they returned, he was standing there with piles of eggs and French toast and chocolate-covered strawberries. ''They were looking at me, like, who is this freakin' guy?'' Shea recalled.
''A lot of the guys didn't know what to make of Kev,'' Kelly says. But he displayed an almost monkish devotion to the job, until he gradually found his place as the guy who was always willing to help out, speaking in frenetic bursts, saying, ''Yes, sir,'' and ''Negative K, sir,'' and answering the phone with the refrain: ''Firefighter Kevin Shea. How can I help you?''
''When I got on the job, I loved it,'' Shea said. ''It was like a big freakin' family. Even when they bust on you, it's direct. When they'd say, 'You're one freaky kid,' I'd have no problem with it. It was all done with love and to my face.''
After the disaster, many in the house assumed Shea would retire, given the severity of his injuries. But within days he vowed he'd be back on the job by Christmas. ''I have my family,'' he said, ''but this is my family, too.''
Yet even as he tried to move forward -- eating only protein, gingerly strengthening his legs -- he seemed trapped in the past. Unlike some amnesiacs, he could not forget that he had forgotten. He was reminded of the gaps in his memory at every turn, when he flipped on the television or saw the relatives of the missing men, staring at him, too afraid to ask what he knew. ''He needs to figure it out,'' his brother Brian told me. ''I don't want him 30 years from now walking around angry at the world and not knowing why. I don't want him to be like one of these guys who comes back from Vietnam and loses his mind.''
When one of Shea's colleagues mentioned offhandedly a news clip of a lone rescue worker who, instead of carrying out victims, was standing in front of the towers paralyzed with fear, Shea worried that the other men in the house suspected he was that guy. Worse, he dreaded they might be right. ''I hope that wasn't me,'' he said. ''I hope I wasn't that kind of person.''
His brother was right, he said; he needed to figure it out -- no matter what I discover.'' And so, with his body still in bandages, he set out on his search, sifting through names and pictures like a detective, trying to find clues.
He started with only a scrap of paper, a note from the hospital that read: ''Patient is a 34-year-old white male firefighter . . . who was knocked unconscious by falling debris just outside the trade center.''
He soon tracked down the neurosurgeon who treated him on Sept. 11 and beseeched him for something more. The doctor said all he knew was that he was carried in on a stretcher and that the injuries to his neck were consistent with being hit by something from the front. ''Is there anything else?'' Shea asked. ''Anything at all?''
The doctor thought for a moment. ''Well, I remember one thing,'' he finally offered. ''You said you crawled 200 feet toward light.''
Shea didn't remember crawling or even saying that he had crawled. It was common in patients with amnesia, the doctor explained, to continue, shortly after the trauma, to forget. Still, Shea seemed stunned. ''How the hell could I have crawled 200 feet with a broken neck?'' he asked.
He tried to be scientific. First, he interviewed his closest friends and family for other things he might have said in the hospital, things he had subsequently forgotten. He discovered that he had mentioned grabbing a Purple K extinguisher, which was used to put out airplane fires.
He now had three clues, one of which -- because of the image of the frozen lone rescue worker that was now embedded in his mind -- filled him with dread: ''If I was hit from the front,'' he said, ''then I was most likely facing the building, like that guy, as it came down.''
As more people learned of Shea's search, he was inundated with tips from strangers. One morning he flipped on his computer and showed me a list of individuals who claimed to have information. ''People keep calling, saying, 'Yeah, I was there, I pulled you out.' It's hard to know what to believe.''
One person who called was Joe Patriciello, a lieutenant whom he had known for years and who recalled for Shea the moment they saw each other just before the first tower came down. ''You embraced me in the command center,'' Patriciello said. ''Don't you remember?''
''What command center?''
''In the south tower.''
Shea felt something jarring loose in his mind, a fragment: a room full of people. They were standing in the lobby of the south tower, which was decimated only a moment later. Oh, my God, Shea thought. ''I remember that,'' he later told me. ''I'm sure of it.''
While he tried to free other recollections -- It's possible other things could come back,'' he said excitedly -- he received a call from a doctor who had seen him at the scene and who told him he had been found on Albany Street. Shea frantically searched his house for a map and measured the distance from the lobby of the south tower, where he had hugged Patriciello, to Albany, trying to imagine how he had gotten there. He made several notes: Saw Patriciello 10 minutes before the first tower came down. Tower came down in nine seconds. Albany Street about one block distance.
Though he tried not to make guesses, he slowly began to construct fragments of his story: ''I was found on Albany Street,'' he started to tell people matter-of-factly. ''I was in the lobby command center and hugged Lieutenant Patriciello.''
Then, on Oct. 17, more than a month after the attack, he visited his firehouse for the first time in a while and saw pinned to the wall a Daily News article about several firefighters who had rescued two men lying in the street after the first tower collapsed. One of them was badly injured, his face covered in ash. His name, the article said, was Kevin Shea. ''I'm looking at it, going, 'What the hell, that's me!''' He carefully wrote down the name of each person in the article and asked other firefighters to help him find them.
A few days later, he parked his car outside a station on the Upper East Side near his apartment. As he was walking home, a man on the street yelled out, ''Oh, my goodness, Kevin Shea?'' Shea looked at the man's face but didn't recognize him. ''Don't tell me you don't remember?''
''We went in the ambulance together.''
He recalled a detail from the Daily News story, that he was rescued along with another bloodied firefighter. ''You're the other guy?'' Shea asked.
The stranger smiled. ''That's me. Rich Boeri.''
They shook hands, as if they were meeting for the first time. Shea took out a piece of paper and pen and began to pepper him with questions. Boeri said they were transported in an ambulance to a police boat and taken to New Jersey. ''Did I say anything about the other guys from my company?'' Shea asked.
Boeri shook his head. ''You just kept saying: 'Did the towers collapse? Did the towers collapse?'''
Days later, he still seemed overcome. ''I'm just walking down the street and out of nowhere he starts telling me what happened to me.'' Perhaps because of his own miraculous survival, he began to believe in accidents of fate. ''Guess what the name of the firefighter who was injured on the first attack on the World Trade Center'' -- in 1993 -- was,'' he said to me one day. ''Kevin Shea. Pretty freaky, huh?''
As shea sensed the puzzle inexorably coming together, he found the phone number of one of the people The Daily News said had saved him, Capt. Hank Cerasoli, and asked him to meet him at a diner on the Upper East Side. ''I hope I can handle it,'' he told me earlier. As he walked in on a Saturday morning, he spotted a small, muscular man wearing a fireman's coat.
Cerasoli had brought his wife with him, and Shea had brought his girlfriend, Stacy Hope Herman. Over eggs and French toast, Cerasoli, a modest man in his 50's with a bald head and silver mustache, described how he was struggling with his own memory loss. He had also been hit on the head and initially could not recall the location of the firehouse he had worked at for 17 years. But his memories had gradually come back, he said, and he recalled stumbling upon Shea in the middle of the street just after the first tower collapsed. ''I thought you were dead,'' he said. ''You weren't moving at all.''
The color drained from Shea's face, and Cerasoli asked if he was sure he wanted him to continue. When Shea nodded, Cerasoli explained how he and several others, including another firefighter, Gerard Pirraglia, carried him on a backboard when they heard the second tower rumble. ''We lifted you in the air and ran with you on the board, down an alleyway and into a garage. It suddenly got all black and dark.'' He drew a map on a napkin, showing where the garage was on the corner of West Street and Albany Street.
''Was I conscious?'' Shea asked.
Cerasoli thought for a long moment. ''I don't remember. There are some details I still can't remember.''
Shea asked what happened next. Cerasoli said the Fire Department doctor, Kerry Kelly, opened Shea's shirt and pants. ''I was holding your hand. You kept asking me: 'Where are the others? Are they O.K.?' I said, 'Yeah, sure, they're O.K., they're out there laughing.' I didn't really have any idea, but I wanted you to feel O.K.'' Cerasoli paused, then asked, ''So were they O.K.?''
Shea shook his head. ''No, none of them made it,'' he said.
''I'm sorry,'' Cerasoli said. ''I had no idea.''
After they finished eating, Cerasoli's wife took a picture of them sitting together. ''I know he doesn't want to forget this,'' she said.
Cerasoli reached over and put his arm around Shea. ''God was with you that day,'' he said.
While he wasn't searching for his past, Shea went from memorial to memorial. One out of every 10 people who died that day was a firefighter. Thirty-three died in Shea's battalion alone, and 11 in his house, including his captain, Frank Callahan, and Bruce Gary, a veteran whom Shea worshiped. ''Bruce Gary was a senior man with over 20 years,'' Shea told me. ''He was like Yoda in the house. He was very wise. I wanted to hang out with him all the time. I'm asking: 'Why you? You would have been a resource for everyone. Me? I'm a positive guy, but when people have enough of positive they can't come to me.'''
He tried to attend as many memorials as he could. But there were so many that he had to do what everyone in the department had to -- choose between friends. In late October, as another service was taking place in the city, I accompanied him to a Mass in upstate New York for his lieutenant, John Ginley. Shea still couldn't drive, and Steve Kelly picked us up. Kelly and Shea both wore their Class A uniforms -- navy blue suits and white gloves -- and as we made our way along the highway, they both spoke of the dead.
But as they talked about Sept. 11, Shea seemed detached from his own words, as if he were reading from a piece of paper. Several people close to him had noticed that rather than seem depressed, he seemed increasingly numb. ''I don't know what's wrong with me,'' Shea told me at one point. ''I'm not sad enough. I should be sadder.''
While the other men spent more and more time together -- searching at ground zero, eating all their meals at the firehouse, drinking at P.D. O'Hurley's nearby -- Shea spent less and less time at the house.
As we rode toward the service, he stared out the window at the changing leaves. ''Look at them,'' he said. ''They're all orange and purple.''
Kelly watched him peering out the window. ''You sure you're O.K., Kev?''
Shea lowered his window and let the wind wash over him. ''Ten-four.''
By the time we arrived at the church, scores of firemen were already lined up. There was still no body, and in place of a casket a helmet rested at the foot of the altar. ''I will never forget those memories,'' one of Ginley's brothers said in his eulogy. ''I believe in time this pain will become bearable because all our memories will be alive in our mind.''
I glanced at Shea. Unlike the other men who had begun to weep, his face was utterly blank.
By the end of October, Shea began losing interest in his search. ''What's the point?'' he asked me one day. ''What am I going to figure out? They're all dead.''
Even though he now knew how he was rescued, the part that had always mattered most to him -- what he was doing in the moments before the tower collapsed -- remained a mystery. Indeed, the closer he got, the more impenetrable it seemed. One day a Daily News photographer named Todd Maisel who had been searching for Shea for weeks showed up at his apartment. He had seen him at the scene and was the one who had originally gone for help. As if to prove his story, Maisel pulled out a photo he had taken of Shea lying on the ground, covered in mounds of debris, blood trickling down his forehead. Shea stared at the image. But even after he had looked at it for hours on end, studying every detail, every nick and cut, nothing came back to him.
And even before then, those close to Shea said he had started to get angry for the first time. He lashed out at his doctor and at his girlfriend, Stacy. ''I don't even realize I'm doing it,'' he said.
Then one day he found, through the relatives of one of the dead in his house, a news clip from Sept. 11 that showed the men from Engine 40, his truck, going into the towers. At last it was over, he thought, as he prepared to watch the clip. On the grainy film he could see each of the men from his company going inside, their faces grim and determined, heroic. But he wasn't there. Everyone was there but him. ''I don't know where the heck I was,'' Shea said. ''I don't know what the hell happened to me.''
Finally, he just stopped looking. Rather than track down leads or scour the paper or search for ''cues'' that might trigger his recollections, throughout the rest of the fall he went from fund-raiser to fund-raiser, trying to raise money for the families of the dead. He often wouldn't stop, would keep going even when he hadn't slept or his body ached. He had increasing pain in his hand and leg, where the contusions were, and in his groin, where the doctors had removed 90 percent of the tissue in one of his testicles. At a fund-raiser in Buffalo in November, after having appeared only a few days earlier at another in California, he was wan and exhausted. ''He's not letting himself heal,'' Stacy said. ''He's in so much pain but he won't say anything.''
As he stared off into space, strangers surrounded him as if he were a rock star; one even asked for his autograph. ''I'm not a hero,'' he snapped. ''This isn't about me.''
The next morning, after Flight 587 crashed near Kennedy Airport, reporters, believing it was another terrorist attack, tried to track Shea down for comment. Rather than speak to them, he went to the hotel gym and got on the StairMaster, climbing up and down with his neck brace, watching the fire burn on TV. ''How do you feel, Mr. Shea?'' he said over and over, parodying their questions. ''How do you feel? How do you feel?''
''He's starting to have nightmares,'' Stacy said. ''He's kicking and thrashing.'' One dream involved the ark of the covenant. People had gathered all around it to peer inside. He told them not to, to look away, but they didn't, and in an instant, a ray of light appeared, disintegrating everyone but him.
He woke up sweating; he turned on the light and began to write down what he had seen. ''I remember the dreams,'' he said.
Emotions that once seemed nonexistent now overwhelmed him. One minute he was numb, unable to feel anything, and the next he began to cry without warning. ''I don't know what's happening,'' he said.
He found an article about post-traumatic stress that he began to read obsessively: ''It is O.K. to be in pain. That is the first principle of recovery.''
By the beginning of December, many in the house were showing their own signs of trauma. ''You see signs,'' Kelly told me. ''Guys are getting hurt, pulling muscles from the stress. Marriages are starting to come under fire more than usual. I don't know if there is more drinking, but there is plenty of it.''
But while the rest of the men relied on the familial nature of the firehouse as a refuge, Shea had drifted further away over the last several months, and he now felt cut off. Many of the new men who had replaced the missing barely recognized him. And so in early December he tried for the first time to reintegrate himself back into the fabric of the force. ''Being with the guys,'' he said. ''That's the most important thing to me right now.''
He went with them to Roosevelt Island for courses on antiterrorism. ''He was so excited,'' Stacy said. ''He got to wear his uniform again.''
His physical injuries were gradually healing, and in mid-December the doctors removed his brace. It would still take another year for the bone to completely fuse, but it was possible that he could then return to active duty.
Yet even as he drew closer to his goal of making it back full time, he still seemed caught in a strange netherworld. In the kitchen, where the men gathered to eat and reminisce, he sensed that they were shying away from him. Sometimes when he showed up in the morning they barely acknowledged him, he said, and when he tried to engage them in conversation, they seemed uninterested. ''A lot of the guys are reluctant to even look at me,'' Shea told me one day, sitting in his car. ''As odd as it may sound, I think I remind them of the others.''
Once he told me that one of the other firefighters had come up to him and said there was a rumor going around the house about why he alone had survived. ''People are saying you were out there at the site, just taking pictures with your camera.''
''That's not true,'' Shea said. ''I put it back in my pocket. I wouldn't do that.'' In early December, at another wake, Shea seemed to stand off by himself. ''I sometimes think it would've been easier if I had died with the rest of the guys,'' he said.
''It's hard to watch,'' Kelly said. ''Every time I talk to him he's not the same guy who walked into the firehouse'' five months earlier. ''First thing he needs to do is simply heal physically,'' Kelly went on. ''Hopefully, then he can come back and be a full-duty fireman, because he lived for that and he was going to move up in the department. He was brilliant in the books.''
Just before the three-month anniversary of the attack, Shea showed up early for the Christmas holiday party to help with preparation. Many of the relatives of the dead were there, and he served them hot dogs and sauerkraut. He worked alongside the other men, saying, ''Yes, sir,'' and ''Negative K, sir,'' as if he were still on active duty. ''More of the guys are talking to me,'' he said. ''Maybe in time it will get easier.''
Hanging on the wall at the firehouse was the riding list from the morning of Sept. 11, a chalkboard that had the names of each member who had hopped on the rig and died. The men had put a piece of Plexiglas up to preserve it as a memorial. On the bottom, scribbled almost as an afterthought, were the words Kevin Shea.
''I need to go down,'' Shea finally said.
He had called me at home one night, his voice agitated, and it took me a moment to realize he meant ground zero. He said someone in the Fire Department would pick us up tomorrow afternoon in Chelsea.
It was a cold day, and Shea wore a sweatshirt and mountain-climbing boots. Stacy stood beside him, holding his hand. He had never gone down since that day and had consciously avoided pictures of it in the newspaper and on TV. A member of Rescue 4 -- a hulking fellow named Liam Flaherty -- showed up in a Fire Department van. He had trained Shea at the academy and had been down at the site, digging for his men since Sept. 11, leaving only long enough to sleep. ''I saw guys at their absolute best that day,'' he said as he drove. ''Guys just kept running in. They went up as it came down. They didn't turn and run.''
As we passed through several checkpoints, trying to follow the route in which Shea had come with his own company, Shea stared silently out the window. He seemed nervous, pressing his face against the glass. We could see the tops of the cranes rising out of the debris and, farther on, two huge metal beams, molded together in the shape of a cross.
''Look at that,'' Shea said, suddenly pointing out the opposite window. ''That's Engine 40. That's the rig we drove in on.'' On the side of the road was a huge red truck, the number 40 painted on the side. ''It must've been moved,'' Shea said. ''We weren't parked there.'' He looked at me for reassurance. ''Right?''
As we passed through the final checkpoint, Flaherty said: ''This is it. You're in.''
''There's the south tower,'' said Stacy.
''There. By the crane.''
''Oh, my God,'' Shea said.
All we could see was a giant hole in the sky. We parked the car and climbed out. Flaherty got us hard hats and yelled at us to be careful as we approached the debris.
''Where's the lobby command post?'' asked Shea.
''Ten stories underground,'' Flaherty said. ''It's still burning.''
Shea opened and closed his eyes. He began to recall all the pieces that he had strung together, his words flowing out faster and faster. ''I grabbed a Purple K,'' he said. ''I was going to look for my men in Ladder 35. There were bodies falling. I remember them hitting the ground. I remember the sound. I went to put out car fires. Then I went into the command post. I saw Patriciello.'' He closed his eyes. ''I hugged him. I told him to be careful.''
He stopped. How could he have gotten from the lobby command post to Albany Street? He couldn't run that fast. ''Maybe you were blown out,'' Flaherty said. ''A lot of guys were picked up and blown out from the concussion.''
''Where's Albany?'' Shea asked.
''It's over here,'' Flaherty said. We started to run, mud splattering on our shoes. We turned down a small street. There were cars still covered in ash, their windows shattered. Shea said the doctor told him he had crawled 200 feet toward light, and now he walked several paces, then stopped and turned around. ''This is where they found me,'' he said. ''Right here.'' He looked back at the tower, surveying the distance. ''Is there a garage around here?'' There was one up the road, Liam said, and we ran again, past a burned-out building and several men in surgical masks. ''This must be it,'' Shea said.
The garage was small and dank. We waited a moment, then an instant later we were rushing out into the street again, down one alley and another -- over here, over here -- until we arrived at the edge of the water. ''This is where they lowered me down on a stretcher.''
As he finished his story, drawing new theories from Flaherty about being blown out, estimating the wind speed and the power of the concussion, we were all cold and exhausted. By the time we got back to the site, it was dark, and the workers had turned on their spotlights. While the others wandered off, Shea walked toward what was left of the south tower.
He stood in silence, listening to the cranes. I watched him for several minutes, not saying anything. Finally I said, ''Are you O.K.?''
He finally seemed aware, after months of searching, of calling strangers, of waking up in the middle of the night trying to interpret his dreams, that he might never know everything, that there was no way to piece together a logical story for that day. ''I'm so tired,'' he said. He wiped his eyes. No matter what happened, I offered, he'd done his job, and at some point he needed to let go of the rest.
Shea stepped closer to the hole, his feet now resting on the edge. ''I just wish I had learned one thing today,'' he said, ''anything that showed I was trying to save someone other than myself.''
Photos: (Richard Burbridge); Shea, right, and one of those who saved him, Capt. Hank Cerasoli.; Shea lying barely conscious at the trade center, moments before the second tower collapsed. (Bea Cerasoli, Above: Todd Maisel/New York Daily News); Shea in the Bronx, where he did his training.; Shea being interviewed by CBS from his hospital bed on Sept. 18. (Above: Firefighter Dale Manners. Opposite Page. Video Still from CBS News ''The Early Show.'')
'Tucker' Carlson The Situation Room, for Wednesday, August 9, 2006
Guests: Rick Francona, Bill Press, Henry Rodriguez, Benjamin Netanyahu, David Ray Griffin
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: Welcome to the show.
Big news out of the Middle East today, where Israel voted to send more ground troops even deeper into Lebanon. It‘s a last-ditch attempt to destroy Hezbollah before a cease-fire can be imposed...
CARLSON: Oliver Stone‘s movie “World Trade Center” opened today, and for once, Stone doesn‘t suggest some vast conspiracy. On the other hand, he doesn‘t have to, because there are plenty of people doing it for him. My next guest is one of the leading voices in the increasingly noisy movement that claims our own government orchestrated the attacks of September 11th.
David Ray Griffin is a theology professor and a member of the group Scholars for 9/11 Truth. He‘s also the author of the book, “Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11: A Call to Reflection and Action.” That book is published by the Presbyterian Church‘s publishing arm. Mr. Griffin joins us from Santa Barbara, California.
Mr. Griffin, thanks for coming on. You have no evidence that the government‘s behind 9/11, and I frankly think that‘s an awful thing to allege considering it‘s not true and you haven‘t proven that it is.
DAVID RAY GRIFFIN, AUTHOR: Well, these things have to be determined in terms of evidence. And if you read this book and you read my two previous books, “The New Pearl Harbor,” and then “The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions,” you will see there are literally dozens of reasons to disbelieve the official theory about 9/11.
I‘m not proposing a new conspiracy theory. I‘m rejecting the official conspiracy theory that we've been given by the government and the 9/11 Commission...
CARLSON: All right, but the implication...
GRIFFIN: ... and that has been used to justify all the activities that have been going on since 9/11.
CARLSON: Look, you don‘t like American foreign policy, that‘s fine. That‘s totally legitimate. I don‘t like American foreign policy most of the time. I get that, and I‘m not in my way questioning your right to complain about the actions of our government. I‘m merely saying it is wrong, blasphemous, and sinful for you to suggest, imply, or help other people come to the conclusion that the U.S. government killed 3,000 of its own citizens, because it didn't.
GRIFFIN: I thought the same thing for the first year and a half. You know, people will say, “Well, you‘re a conspiracy theorist, and so therefore you went looking for problems.” The first year and a half, I accepted the official theory and assumed it was blow back for American foreign policy.
And when somebody first suggested to me it was an inside job, I said, “Well, I didn't think the Bush administration—even the Bush administration would do such a heinous thing.” But then when I finally looked at the evidence, I saw that it was truly overwhelming.
CARLSON: OK. Let‘s get very specific. I wish we had more time, but we don‘t. You say six of the hijackers may still be alive. What‘s the evidence for that? Please tell me specifically why you believe six of the hijackers could be alive.
GRIFFIN: Well, this is one of the examples of one of the dozens of things the 9/11 Commission simply refused to investigate, even though this was reported by mainline sources in England. You had both the BBC and the “Telegraph” putting out stories—let‘s take the one about Waleed al-Shehri.
The 9/11 Commission speculates that he was one on Flight 11 who stabbed one of the flight attendants, and yet, several days after 9/11, he came on and announced to the world that he‘s still alive in Morocco where he‘s a pilot. We didn't get a word of that from the 9/11 Commission.
CARLSON: Well, you did not get a word of that from the 9/11 Commission, nor did you get a word of it from National Public Radio, the “New York Times,” the “Washington Post,” ABC news, NBC news, MSNBC. You are suggesting...
GRIFFIN: Exactly, but we did in papers in other countries.
CARLSON: Right, but, I mean, as someone who has been in journalism his whole adult life and grown up in a family of journalists, I can tell you people who point to the journalism of Great Britain are almost always pointing to journalism with very low standards.
Here‘s my obvious point. You‘re alleging not simply a cover-up by the U.S. government but by the entire American media. It‘s totally implausible. We would report that if it were true..
GRIFFIN: Tucker, not quite entirely. But let me give another example of a failure to mention. You mentioned Oliver Stone‘s movie. Although he does not get into the question of who was responsible, when people see this movie, they will see that these towers came down in what is close to classic controlled demolition, the kind that‘s called implosion, that is produced by explosives.
And first of all, steel frame high-rise buildings have never before in history come down because of fire or fire plus externally produced damage, such as airplane damage...
CARLSON: What about being hit by jumbo jets? Have they ever come down—no, because they've never been hit by jumbo jets before. It‘s not like there's a precedent for this.
GRIFFIN: No, no. And the empire—Tucker, the Empire State Building was by...
CARLSON: In World War II by a prop plane traveling at 1/8 the speed of these planes. Look, I mean, facts matter.
GRIFFIN: Tucker, the main point is that buildings like this have never come down because of externally produced damage. And furthermore, Building 7 was not hit by an airplane. And so, conveniently...
CARLSON: I know. And it came down. But Mr. Griffin, I‘m sorry...
GRIFFIN: Tucker, you know that the 9/11 Commission did not even mention in their 571-page report the fact that Building 7 collapsed.
CARLSON: I‘m fully aware of that. I've actually read a lot that you've written, and here‘s my bottom line point. I honestly wish—I‘m not trying to cut you off. I wish we had more time. You haven‘t proved the government‘s behind it, and I hope that our viewers will read what you've written, because I've read it. But unfortunately, we‘re out of time, and I appreciate your coming on.
GRIFFIN: Well, many people think otherwise, Tucker.
CARLSON: Apparently they do, and that‘s sad, as far as I‘m concerned.
But thank you, Mr. Griffin, for coming on. I appreciate it.
Speaking of conspiracies, it‘s been nearly four months and still no sign of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes‘ baby? Does that child actually exist? Well, new evidence suggests indeed she might. We‘ll show you when we come back.
That‘s it for us. Up next, “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews. See you tomorrow.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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Articles, Janet Chismar," Salvation Army Serves at 'Camp Unity' Pentagon," Crosswalk.com News Channel
Article, Pattie Stechschulte, "Pentagon Workers Find Relief at Camp Unity," Today's Chiropractic [Internet]
Article, Hannah Mack Lapp, "A Visit at Camp Unity: First Person Reflections,"Footpaths [Internet] Winter 2001
Article, Anita Parlow, "Reflections from the Pentagon," RedCross.com [Internet] 5 October 2001
Article, Lieutenant General Thomas J. Plewes, "9-11 Plus 90, Statement by the Chief, Army Reserve," OCAR website
Article, "Answering the Call---Individual Accounts, Lieutenant Colonel Vic Correa," OCAR website, 20 September 2001
Article, "Answering the Call---Individual Accounts, Captain Calvin D. Wineland," OCAR website, 20 September 2001
Article, "Answering the Call---Individual Accounts, Master Sargeant Jacqueline Gopie," OCAR website, 18 September 2001
Article, "Answering the Call---Individual Accounts, Major Michael J. Coughlin," OCAR website, 18 September 2001
Article, "Statement on the September 11, 2001 Tragedy by the Chief, Army Reserve,"OCAR website, 12 September 2001
Article, "Answering the Call---Individual Accounts, Lacky-Mantha Team," OCAR website, 20 September 2001
Transcript, Samuel Simon, interview by Sergeant William Miller, tape recording with transcript, 12 December 2001;
Transcript, Sergeant First Class Jose N. Cruz, interview by Sergeant William G. Miller, tape recording and transcript, 26 October 2001;
Transcript, First Sergeant Jose Santiago, interview by Sergeant William G. Miller, tape recording with transcript, Fort Myer, Virginia, 24 October 2001;
Transcript, Janice A. Jackson, interview by Frank Shirer and Beau Whittington, 19 September 2001, DA-CMH;
Article, Pullen, Lt. Col. Randy, "Army Reservists on the Front Line Since the First Day Special to American Forces Press Service, Sept. 25, 2001;
Article, Pullen, Lt. Col. Randy, "Army Reservists have been on the front lines of 'the first war of the 21st century' since the morning September 11, 2001."Army Reserve Magazine Fall, 2001;
Article, Pullen, Randy, "Army Reserve Responds to Terrorist Attacks," Army Reserve. 2001. Vol. 47, No. 3, p.6-9. Sudocs classification number: D 101. 43: 47/ 3;
Article, Pullen, Lieutenant Randy, "Lieutenant Colonel David Scales: A Good, Professional Army Reserve Officer," OCAR website, 18 September 2001;
Article, Pullen, Lieutenant Randy, "A First-Class Outfit---The 311th Quartermaster Company on Duty at the Pentagon," Army Reserve Magazine Fall, 2001
Article, Pullen, Lt. Col. Randy "9 11 The Army Reserve Responds" BASE CAMP BRIEFS, December 2001