9/11 Remembrance Day- Hidden Heroes

What do a librarian, a transit worker, and an engineer have in common? They were hidden heroes hiding in plain sight during the fateful day of 9/11.

Book Culture Community Events On This Day

On this disastrous day in America, our world lost over two thousand civilians. We lost fallen heroes, such as firefighters and police officers, who were at the World Trade Center. We will forever remember their sacrifice, and with that, we should also think about all the heroes that contributed to the help of safety.


At a time when it was uncommon for computers in every household, libraries were the first resource to go to during this time. It was the number one news outlet to get updated information. The librarians created web pages to keep everyone updated on the tragedy. People also used the computers to contact family members and loved ones. This resulted from landlines cutting out and the internet not being accessible in their home.

The New York Public Library was a safe haven. They created a list of resources for people that were affected. This included individuals that were suffering from unemployment, helping charities, and more. The most worry was surrounding the children’s mental state. How could parents explain such a horrid time in America? Programs were set up for adolescents to talk about what happened. This was the next generation of learner minds at stake.

A lot of the information came from here, so check it out if you want more details.

MTA Transit Workers

The police and the firefighters were assisted by many employees from the mass transit system. The MTA transported people from the destruction to a safer environment. They even delivered equipment to the firefighters and police. People don’t realize that the MTA isn’t trained, yet they are expected to become emergency workers when a crisis arises. They don’t get proper recognition. MTA’s were going through a catastrophe, but they were expecting much heavier labor.

They transported people, equipment, and front liners (police officers and firefighters) to the scene. Guess what? They were the cleanup crew as well. One man’s experience was Ray Miranda. He would work sixteen-hour shifts cleaning, and this was an everyday occurrence for Miranda and his coworkers. One of his work buddies, Pete Foley, consequently died in 2012 because of 9/11-related issues. Rest in peace, Pete Foley.

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Forty engineers were already there as a customary job prior to the World Trade Center fall. So once the crisis began, some of the engineers were the first ones to lend a helping hand. Unlike the MTA workers who helped load equipment, they were right alongside firefighters, connecting nozzles, or they chose to help the emergency medical teams. They also helped people escape from the building to safety.

Sadly, four brave men died in their sacrifice. John Griffin Jr., Charles Magee, Vito DeLeo, and David Williams. These were men who were not trained, were not asked, and were not forced to help. They did this out of the kindness of their hearts. Their service does not go unheard.

To learn more about these men’s journey, click for more in-depth detail.

We will always commemorate the heroes that sacrificed their lives. We should also look to the people that aren’t always mentioned. Thank you, local libraries, especially The New York Public Library. Your help does not go unrecognized. Thank you to the transmit workers for working grueling hours to build our transit system back and up and for the cleanup process. Once again, thank you to the forty men that were on site and didn’t hesitate to help.

9/11 has always been a time for grief, but today we will celebrate our hidden heroes. Thank you for everything that you did. No one will forget this day.

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