Saturday, September 09, 2006

"I'm Just Glad We Were Able to Help"

Philadelphia Daily News recounts Ground Zero experience.

The lower Manhattan parking garage was a block long and at least seven stories high. It was packed with thousands of cars.

Philadelphia Fire Lt. John Pelzer eyed the building inquisitively for a few minutes and then flagged down a passing police officer.

"How come you haven't let anybody come get their vehicles?" Pelzer asked.

The somber-looking cop turned and slowly pointed at the still-smoldering remains of the World Trade Center.

"He said, 'The people who owned those cars were all in the towers. They never made it out,' " Pelzer recalled with a long, heavy sigh. "I never grasped the scope of what happened until then. I was astounded."

Pelzer and six of his fellow firefighters have dozens of similarly heartbreaking memories from the time they spent in New York City helping stressed-out workers at Ground Zero. They just wish they could forget them.

But this week, two of the men agreed to share their 9/11 relief and counseling experiences with the Daily News.


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