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The tragic & symbolic wreck of Ladder 3 – victim of 9/11

Nick Knight

In the Memorial Museum located inside of New York City, Ladder 3 rests in its shadows. The remains of what was once a proud fire truck of New York, was one of the first responders to the World Trade Center as it got struck by terrorists on September 11th, 2001.

A dozen brave fire fighters went into the North Tower to save the men and women trapped inside after a plane was deliberately crashed into it by suicide bombers. Captain Patrick Brown took his fire fighters to the 40th floor of the tower, and reported that it had extra men available. The suicide bombings happened during a shift change, and both crews sprang into action to help their fellow New Yorkers.

Sadly, the crew went down with the skyscraper as it collapsed to the ground. As it was tumbling down, the front of the apparatus of the fire truck was torn off.

The truck itself was totaled along with the ladders. Some of the tools that were used for rescue were tangled up into the vehicle after the collapse.

Ladder 3
Ladder 3

After the scene had been cleaned up, the fire truck was stored at JFK International Airport with hopes of preserving what was a proud symbol for New York. The truck rested in hanger 17 for a decade after the dreadful day, but the bravery of the crew was certainly never forgotten. These men reminded us all of the courage as well of the risks that our first responders take every day to protect their city.

When 2011 arrived, firefighters stood along with the family and friends of the victims that had died just ten years before. Covered with Fire Department of New York and US flags, the 60,000-pound truck was lowered by a crane 70 feet into the terrorism site.

As this happened, family members reflected on their loved ones as the firefighters saluted their proud brothers. It became a part of the proud history of New York by becoming a part of the Memorial Museum.

The truck not only serves as a memory to the men who lost their lives trying to save their fellow citizens, but to all the New York City Fire Departments that had lost their lives.

The mayor of New York City, the Commissioner of the New York City Fire Department and the current members of the Ladder 3 crew, were accompanied by 100 members of the Fire Department who paid tribute during the ceremony.

Sheathed in plastic and US and FDNY flags, workers prepare to lower Ladder 3’s apparatus into the National September 11 Photo Credit
Sheathed in plastic and US and FDNY flags, workers prepare to lower Ladder 3’s apparatus into the National September 11 Photo Credit

A senior member of Ladder 3 from the NY Fire Department said that the job carries on through the city’s proud tradition and that the department is here striving to keep that proud heritage alive today. This is a tribute to every fire fighter that died on September 11th.

When the attack happened, Mr. Wind was relaxing at home while on vacation. He answered to the recall and discovered his crew’s riding list on the rig while he was at ground zero. He immediately began searching for them.

Michael Moran also commented that the ceremony was a big step in the healing of the scars that he was left with that day. His brother also died in the attacks as he was collaborating with Special Operations Command. Mr. Moran was a driver for Ladder 3, but he was relieved in the morning after he worked the night shift.

He speculates that he drove the apparatus thousands of times. He felt like he lost a part of himself that day, due to the crew spending a lot of time together.

Without a doubt, the first responders inside the city make a shaky New York more safe and comfortable for its citizens.

We have another 9/11 story: USS New York, built with 24 tons of steel salvaged from the World Trade Center to commemorate the victims of 9/11

The truth is that when citizens are in trouble, they know that the city will respond to do everything they can to keep them safe. And when the going gets tough, the braver and more proud the city gets.

Nick Knight

Nick Knight is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News