FDNY Firefighter Looks Back on 19th Anniversary of 9/11

NY 1 - September 12, 2020

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Chris Edwards was an FDNY firefighter at engine 81 in the Bronx when the Twin Towers were attacked on 9/11.

He keeps a room in his Sparrow Bush home dedicated to the firefighters who sacrificed their lives that day.

"I ended up getting down to the World Trade Center at about 11:30 at night and when I got down there, it was like something out of a movie," said Edwards. "The closer you got to the World Trade Center the thicker the white dust became."

For two weeks straight, Chris and his FDNY brothers dug through the rubble.

"There was a list of over 600 firefighters that came out on Wednesday of 600 firefighters that were missing and you start seeing all the names of guys that you knew," said Edwards.

Nineteen years later he still gets choked up thinking of his brothers who were lost and never found.

He keeps the pictures of the 343 firemen who were killed that day on his wall.

"I tell everybody the bad was bad, but the good was the greatest that day and it will always be that way," said Edwards. "When you think of the rescues that were made and the sacrifices, people that sacrificed their lives to save total strangers."

Before the pandemic hit, he traveled the country with the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers foundation, aboard its mobile 9/11 museum, speaking to crowds from Georgia to Utah about September 11 and the importance of that day.

"It gives us an opportunity to keep our friends alive throughout the country, because if I tell you a story about my friend, you're gonna tell somebody else, and they're gonna tell somebody else, and my friend's gonna live forever throughout the country," said Edwards.

Chris like many other first responders who were there at ground zero suffers from 9/11 related illnesses like congestive heart failure and lung abnormalities, on top of carrying the emotional scars.

"The pain never really goes away it's actually a wound that will never heal for us," said Edwards. "The biggest thing is that we want people to come together like they did on that day."