Special Agent S.M.

Special Agent S.M. worked on an organized crime squad in the New York Division and was a member of the SWAT team when the attacks occurred on the World Trade Center.

Video Transcript

I remember it so distinctly, I mean as if it were yesterday that the events kind of leading up to and of course September 11. It's just crystal clear in my mind.

And I remember getting up and kind of getting in the shower and getting ready for the day, and I had the local channel 4 news on, and I remember hearing them say, "We're just getting a report that a plane's hit one of the World Trade Center towers."

And at first, they described it as, and I kind of assumed, like a small plane. A private pilot incident.

At this point nobody had seen photographs or videos of it. It was literally just maybe seconds after the first plane had hit.

You know, there's a moment when you're involved in any kind of a crisis-response situation. There's that moment when you realize that the switch has flipped.

And for us, as responders, we have to switch over into response mode.

Your blood starts pounding and your blood starts coursing through your veins and you just start prioritizing your immediate priorities of: where am I, where do I need to be, who do I need to talk to, what do I need to do, what's my responsibility right now.

It was just like, it was an alien environment. It was like we were occupiers of some other place. It was very strange.

The places where you could go for food, you know, there were no restaurants open. So a few restaurants stayed open, like the one I can't remember the name of it, that's horrible, it was right there on Canal Street, that kind of threw their kitchen open.

They were closing anyway. I think they were losing their lease, Tony's, yeah, they threw their kitchen open and just cooked meals for the, for us every day until they finally drove themselves out of business.

You'd have lines of union workers, cops, firemen, FBI agents lining up for meals at these makeshift soup kitchens and everything. It was bizarre. It was really weird.

There were these incredibly life-affirming moments, you know, of just people helping out. It was just a really, really strange time.

An amazing experience. One that I hope to never, never live again. But, you know, you can't forget it.

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