After the towers fell

Andrew Wagstaff
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Firefighters recall time at Ground Zero after 9/11

Joggins firefighters Maurice MacKinnon (left) and Laurie Melanson were among seven local volunteers who traveled to New York City on Sept. 11, 2001 to help with rescue efforts at Ground Zero. Andrew Wagstaff - The Citizen-Record


RIVER HEBERT – All hell had broken loose in New York City.

The twin towers of the World Trade Center lay in powdered ruins, and millions were in fear of where the next terrorist attack would hit. Seven volunteers from Cumberland County were on their way to the scene to offer their help.

“We just wanted to help our brothers,” said Maurice MacKinnon.

Mackinnon and fellow Joggins firefighter Laurie Melanson were part of the team led by Southampton firefighter Paul Seguin, who started putting a team together as soon as he realized the magnitude of the disaster. Also joining the group were Southampton firefighters Glenn Levy and Scott McLellan, Parrsboro Fire Chief Jeremy Dunphy and Danny Brooks, a paramedic living in Amherst.

Melanson said they didn’t really think twice about going when they received the call from Seguin. The towers had fallen by 11:30 a.m. on that fateful Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, and the local group was on the road, heading to New York at around 5 p.m.

Brooks, who was trained in rescue exercises and had worked the scene of the Swissair 111 crash near Peggy’s Cove only three years prior, said nothing could have prepared them for what they witnessed at Ground Zero.

(For the full story, see the Sept. 8 issue of The Citizen-Record)

Organizations: World Trade Center, The Citizen-Record

Geographic location: Ground Zero, New York City, RIVER HEBERT Cumberland County Joggins Parrsboro Amherst

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Recent comments

  • Mills
    September 08, 2011 - 08:43

    These guys are hero's! They risked their lives to go there and help those poor people in New York, honestly not many people would have the guts to do this. They are my hometown hero's! Way to go guys! Props to you! :)

  • MacDonald
    September 06, 2011 - 16:32

    This article isn't about the size of the city, and which city was larger. This is about people who but their problems aside to help others. For those who are over looking that, to worry about which city is the largest. The question to you is what did you do on this day to help out. Let us not forget the 342 FireFighters that lose thier lifes.

  • amherstguy
    September 06, 2011 - 08:38

    DAVOS , I don't really think that this article is about "the World's Largest City". Give it up. It is about wonderful people willing to risk their own lives to help save other's. Great job guys, you made our area proud and you jumped in when you were most needed. I am guessing that most sensible people are reading this article and paying tribute to you, not looking for a misprint that has absolutely no bearing on this wonderful story. Congrats on a job well done,

    • Davos
      September 06, 2011 - 14:41

      I understand that this is not the point of the article. However, news writers have a responsibility to get their facts correct, and when they are wrong, it should be pointed out. I'm sure you will agree than when an important article such as this one starts out with an incorrect statement in its first sentence, readers may wonder about the journalistic integrity of the entire piece. I'm sure the author would want that corrected.

  • Davos
    September 05, 2011 - 16:14

    Your article starts, "All hell had broken loose in the world’s largest city." New York City is not the world's largest city, nor was it at the time of 9/11. That distinction lies with Tokyo, Japan.

  • VJ Allen
    September 05, 2011 - 12:38

    Not to quibble, nor take away from the sentiment of these people, but New York is not the world's largest city. Ranking around 7th-largest, NYC has approximately 12 million fewer citizens than first-ranked Tokyo, which at some 34 million is close to the population of all of Canada!

    • Amherstguy
      September 06, 2011 - 12:30

      please read my comment above, this article was not written as a history lesson, it was written to honour these brave people,,,,,,no one cares which city is first, second, or third !!!!!!