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Monday, September 27, 2021

NYPD officer’s son ‘went to mattress not sure’ whether or not his mother was alive following 9/11 assaults

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Harrison Fields was solely 5 years {old} when his mom, an NYPD detective serving within the Medical Examiner’s workplace, responded to the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America, an occasion that has left him and lots of others with a “feeling of concern” 20 years later.

“On that blue-sky morning, I bear in mind St. Joseph’s Catholic Faculty happening lockdown and there being a direct concern within the air. My trainer rolled a TV into the classroom, and earlier than my eyes have been two acquainted constructions on fireplace,” Fields recalled in an opinion piece for Fox Information.

Whereas on the time he was “confused” concerning the scenario, Fields mentioned the “confusion quickly changed into fear as I remembered that my mother labored close to these smoking buildings.”

Fields later recalled that his grandfather, a retired NYPD Sergeant, picked him and his siblings up from his college. “My grandmother was noticeably on edge, the telephone rang continuous, and my mother was nowhere to be seen or heard,” he mentioned. “Morning changed into afternoon, and nonetheless no signal of my mother—simply the chilly feeling of fear and concern.”


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“The towers collapsing, the Pentagon assault, and the crash in Shanksville, Pa., would not serve my reminiscence nicely however the towers billowing smoke and the sensation of concern will endlessly relaxation uneasy in my psyche,” Fields mentioned, noting that because the hours drifted on he “went to mattress not sure if my mother was {dead} or alive.”

Shortly after midnight on September 12, 2001, Fields came upon that his mom had survived, nonetheless she was not sure of when she can be returning residence.

“I’ll always remember the sensation of figuring out that my mommy was alive and OK,” Fields mentioned.

In contrast to Fields’ scenario, a number of kids by no means heard the voices of their moms or fathers once more.

Jackie Hobbs, now 32-years-old, misplaced her father within the 9/11 assaults on America and spoke with the New York Post about life after and dealing as an affiliate media director at an advert company whose headquarters overlooks Floor Zero.

As famous by the Put up, Hobbs’ father, Thomas Hobbs, 41, labored on the constructing’s a hundred and fifth ground as a dealer for Cantor Fitzgerald.


“My workplace is correct subsequent to the World Commerce Heart,” Hobbs mentioned, who remains to be shaken by glimpses of the realm the place her father misplaced his life. “It’s like — oh! I wasn’t anticipating that,” she mentioned. “I’ve wanted to take a step again, take a breath.”

Hobbs mentioned on days she’s “feeling harassed,” she walks alongside the plaza because it reminds her “that life is valuable” and “places all the things into perspective.”

Brian Leavey, who was 16-years-old on the time of the assaults, misplaced his father, Joseph, who labored for the New York Fireplace Division and perished saving the lives of individuals on the World Commerce Heart on 9/11.

“That is how we all know the story of his unit. They have been on the 78th ground on the time of the collapse of the constructing,” Leavey instructed BBC News. “They have been one of many solely items to make it to the hearth ground. It was undoubtedly a aid figuring out that they did wonderful work that day and I am simply so pleased with how courageous he was.”

“He beloved being a father and caring for us,” Leavey mentioned of his father, who displayed “massive child” tendencies. “I used to be very lucky to have 16 years with him whereas my youthful sister solely had 10.”

In accordance with Leavey, his father’s passing made him “develop up a bit of sooner.” Now with a child of his personal, Leavey mentioned he needs his father have been round “to sort things spherical the home” or assist with “a renovation.”

“It is one of many issues I miss on daily basis,” Leavey mentioned, in keeping with BBC Information. “I am attempting to show a destructive right into a Positive.”

NBC’s Today additionally spoke concerning the tragedy with two ladies, Caitlin Leavey and Brittany Oelschlager, who have been little women on the time they misplaced their fathers, each New York Metropolis firefighters, within the assaults.

The ladies mentioned their 20 12 months journey with out their fathers and mirrored on how they met. The 2 women met each other at America’s Camp, a free, non-profit camp within the Berkshire Mountains for youngsters who misplaced family members on 9/11, in keeping with Right this moment.


“America’s Camp was the candle within the darkness for us,” Oelschlager instructed NBC’s Right this moment on Thursday.

“It is like mates till the tip,” Oelschlager mentioned. “From one thing unhealthy got here one thing nice, and that is undoubtedly one thing nice.”

Describing the deadly assault, Oelschlager insisted it “was extra than simply two towers falling,” saying that their “whole lives got here crashing down with it.”

“I simply I battled loads,” Leavey recalled, noting how folks would ask her how she was doing following the incident. “My first thought was like, ‘Effectively, my dad was a contented particular person and I need to be joyful,’ but additionally figuring out that it was OK to need to cry and to have emotions I believe was essential for me. I want I may inform my 10-year-old self now and embrace that 10-year-old self of mine.”

“Simply to know that there was all these youngsters there who have been from the identical expertise, and all these folks there who simply need to make us joyful and simply allow us to be youngsters,” Leavey mentioned of America’s Place. “It simply introduced out a lot gentle and sunshine for me, and I simply felt prefer it was additionally a present my dad gave to me, as a result of he would at all times name me his sunshine.”

Estimates present that greater than 3,000 kids misplaced a mother or father because of the September 11, 2001, terrorist assaults, which killed 2,977 folks from 90 completely different nations in New York Metropolis, Arlington, Va., and Shanksville, Pa.

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