It’s Been 14 Years Since 9/11, And These First Responders Are Still Feeling The Effects

The magnitude of the damage Al Qaeda inflicted on the American people with the attacks of 9/11, even 14 years later, still astounds. From the stories of loss and outrage to the long process of rebuilding at Ground Zero in New York, it has been a terrible time for those affected – and for the country at large, which has yet to fully achieve a sense of retribution against the evil ideology which spawned the attacks in the first place.

But for the first responders at Ground Zero, the scars are even deeper. From IJ Review…

When Al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four commercial airliners on September 11th, 2001, they ended up killing 2,977 people.

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Immediately after the attacks, thousands of volunteers from across the country answered the call to aide in the recovery efforts despite the risks from the environmental impact of the debris.

Aside from that staggering figure, there is another casualty count that you may not be familiar with: The additional 1,700 people who have died from 9/11 related illnesses.

The people who have since passed on and are continuing to suffer from sickness are those who risked life and limb at Ground Zero.

IJ Review talked to four of those heroes about their experiences over the past 14 years. One, U.S. Army Combat Medic Sgt. Garrett Goodwin, who suffers from PTSD, pulmonary problems and asthma since rushing to the scene that day, has an especially powerful tale to tell…

“A lot of people asked me how could you go and recover remains? My response has always been, how could I not, if it wasn’t me then who? I had the experience and the ability to help so I did just that. If it happened again, you still couldn’t nail my feet to the ground to keep me from helping if I was able to.

How did it change me? I see blue sky, I think 9/11. I smell smoke, I think 9/11. I hear vehicle beeping noises that occur when a commercial vehicle backs up, I think 9/11. It’s changed my perspective, my taste for life, and it was the most evil and best of humanity I’ve ever seen.

We are still dying from the attacks on 9/11, and we need your support. All of America came together that week and we were never stronger than we were then. Blacks and whites, Republicans and Democrats, Florida Gators and Georgia Bulldogs, everyone was an American as one that day.”

That unity the country felt is gone, and so is our purpose in the greater conflict 9/11 represented.

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