September 11, 2010

Veterans NOW Radio Program Hosts Commemorative 9/11 Show Featuring First Responders

The program included Michael Simon, a New York/New Jersey Port Authority member who was one of the first on the scene at the World Trade Center that day, and former Marine Sgt. Joe Pace, who was the first New Yorker to enlist into the service after the attacks.

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - The Veterans NOW Radio Program hosted a special commemorative show on the nine year anniversary of the tragic events of September 11th featuring two first responders from the day.

The program included Michael Simon, a New York/New Jersey Port Authority member who was one of the first on the scene at the World Trade Center that day, and former Marine Sgt. Joe Pace, who was the first New Yorker to enlist into the service after the attacks.

Simon, who arrived at the scene immediately after the first crash and experienced the collapse of the towers firsthand, shared some heartbreaking stories from the day.

“I will never forget some moments,” said Simon as he recalled the collapse of the tower. “I heard this terrible rumble, a sound I have never heard before in my life or since then. It sounded like a freight train coming right down on us.”

He also recalled how he helped guide dozens of people out of the second tower after the initial collapse.

“I had to get everyone out of the building, because I knew the second building was coming down. So I guided some people out of the building. We tried to work our way through the smoke and dust, and I was able to find an ambulance to help them. This was just minutes before the second tower came down.”

Pace, a three tour veteran of the Iraq war and Veterans NOW co-host, recalled how he felt an obligatory force pushing him to serve in the military, as he sat in his home in Staten Island as he watched the events of 9/11.

“This was my only reaction [to join], it just felt right. I wanted to make sure that this would never happen again. I never wanted to have that happen to us again,” said Pace.

Despite their separate experiences, the two men did find a common ground when Simon stated that his son was on his way to becoming a Marine, to which Pace responded “Tell him Semper Fi!”