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We dug through the World Trade Center rubble, looking for our brothers

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The tears still come, especially when we recall our wives and children waiting for us that day – from home, from work, from school – not knowing if we’d walk through the door again.

We were New York City police officers at the time. We each took different paths to the World Trade Center that day. Those paths converged as we tackled opposite ends of a dangerously intense rescue of two New York and New Jersey Port Authority police that changed our lives.

Only 20 people survived the collapse of the twin towers and were pulled from the rubble. We were able to help save two of them.

USA TODAY:From the archives | 20 people miraculously survived the collapse of the twin towers. These are their stories.

We’d both ended shifts just before the planes crashed into the towers, although the notion of working a shift quickly became meaningless. We drove through civilian-directed traffic into Manhattan because police officers and firefighters already were running toward danger at the World Trade Center site.

Officers set up perimeters and saved as many dust-covered people as they could around the area that would come to have different names: Epicenter, Ground Zero, The Pile and, eventually, hallowed........


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