On this day, 19 years ago, September 11th, 2001, a horrific event occurred that shook the United States. It was a day that took away many Americans feeling of safety and security. Nothing was the same after. Early in the morning, flight 175 and flight 11 were hijacked and headed straight towards the twin towers. Nowadays, the thought of a plane becoming hijacked and dangerous does not occur to us. But, that is because of this event that took place. Because of 9/11, we now have better security and have improved safety for passengers. However, despite all of this, we should never forget what happened and those who were on the frontlines. Today, at K&B Gutters, we choose to focus on one particular story that inspires us, that of Matthew Tansey.
Matthew Tansey is a retired FDNY firefighter who survived both buildings falling. He and his crew of 7 firefighters all risked their lives to help others and the city of New York. Unfortunately, only 4 of the 7 made it out of the debris and survived. Firefighters Michael D. Mullen, Angel L. Juarbe, and Lieutenant Philip S. Petti did not make it out alive. We take this day to remember them and their enormous sacrifice.
The story of Matthew Tansey is one that many can relate to on that day. He was not supposed originally scheduled to work his shift that Tuesday; but, a co-worker had asked if he could switch days with him. Tansey agreed. The day started as usual, with the crew getting ready for the day with breakfast. Not long after the day began, the firefighters got notice that a plane had hit the first building. Shortly after, the second plane collided with the second building. It was at this point that Tansey and his crew knew that they were under attack. Their day was suddenly heading on a different course.
At this point, the crew was heading out to the twin towers. They saw something that is difficult to put into words. Smoke everywhere, airplane parts scattered, the buildings and debris coming down on everyone in the city. Smoke was quickly filtering throughout the air and spreading around the city. People were terrified and running for their lives. No one knew what had happened just yet, just that the planes collided with the towers, and some form of an attack was occurring.
Matthew Tansey and his fellow firefighters embarked into the tower to help out the best they could. They didn’t even think, just did. While running in to help others, the second tower started to tumble down on top of them. He blacked out and lost consciousness in a stairwell. Tansey describes this moment as almost being hit by a train. But these heroes did not stop there; once they regained consciousness, they continued to try and carry out as many people as they could. Risking their lives for others without a thought. Luckily, the walls of the stairwell did not crumble and protected them, saving many of the crews and civilian’s lives.
Tansey recounts the story saying it is a miracle he is alive. Many others did not make it out. At the young age of 27, he faced many injuries because of this day and his heroism. A usual case for many of the firefighters, police, and citizens who survived the attack are health issues. The smoke, fuel from the planes, and other chemicals and debris mixed in the air and caused many health conditions to survivors. But the night after the event and the months after were not any bit easier for Tansey. He attended funerals almost every day for months. This story is just one of the many reasons we choose to remember this day every year.
Discussing the events that transpired on September 11th, 2001, is a difficult task for the citizens of the United States. This day in history is one that permanently changed the way we viewed most things. Many people all over the country, and especially in New York City, lost loved ones because of the building. Many even lost someone who was on one of the many hijacked planes. And those who had someone pass away on the frontlines. Remembering this day is critical for all Americans; we must actively never forget. And we must continue to educate those who are young, those who were not here for 9/11. Here at K&B Gutters, we hold close to our hearts the heroes from 9/11, such as Matthew Tansey, and make it our mission today to spread their stories.