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Father - Edward F. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Onthe morning of September 11, 2001, my father followed his normal routine with noidea that the next few hours would change history. My father is a policepsychologist for the New York City Police Department and is very proud of hisprofession. For the last 20 years he has worked at this "helpingprofession," receiving little recognition.

As the second planecrashed into the World Trade Center, a police car arrived at his office andtransported him to Ground Zero. Stepping out, he was barraged by falling ash andhad to ask more than one rescue worker for a mask so he could breathe. Policeofficers came to him relaying their horrific encounters. Later he met with familymembers of 23 missing police officers. He counseled them for hours and tried toconsole them in this most difficult and uncertain time.

The next day, myfather continued counseling family members. After his sessions, some forensicspecialists from nearby morgues also came for help. They were overwhelmed by thehorrific number of bodies and body parts they had already received foridentification. Then many of the 911 operators were brought to him and describedtheir experiences handling the countless calls that came from inside the WorldTrade Center Towers during the attacks. The screaming and crying voices fromthose inside offices and crowded stairwells lingered in theirminds.

Stuyvesant High School in lower Manhattan served as one of manycommand centers for police officers, firefighters and rescue workers torecuperate from their rescue work. My dad roamed among these exhausted faceslooking for a person in need, a person who needed someone to talk to.

Night after night, the same people would look for my dad to have a word with him.These late, painful nights continued for two weeks, and as with so many otherunsung heroes, they went by without any complaint from him.

Our housereturned to normal when my dad was stationed back at his regular office. After afew weeks, I began to realize what an impact he'd had on those he'd met. Like somany dedicated workers, he was not on TV, but he was there, around the clock, tolend a friendly ear and just listen. My dad was behind the scenes to encourageand support rescue workers at the World Trade Center disaster site.

He isa hero behind the heroes, whom I will always love and now look at in a new light.He is my hero!




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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