2001 Attack Has Lasting Impact


Firefighter Gabriel Springer looks up at the sentimental piece of the building. Station 63, in Palm Beach Gardens, has a public memorial for people to mourn the lives that were lost on 9/11. “It always makes us aware when we get calls. We always wonder what could happen today,” Springer said. Photo by Kya Small-Brush

The 9/11 tragedy left Americans in shock. Many people lost someone that day. 


“It’s a terrible act. We haven’t had anything even close to that magnitude happen in America,” Gabriel Springer, a firefighter at Station 63, said. 


Many look to 9/11 each year to reflect and share the saddening memories from that day. 


Springer can recall one in particular.


“I think one of the most memorable [memories] was about a firefighter,” Springer said. “He wasn’t feeling too good that week, so his brother worked his shift. He was at home when everything happened. He was feeling that it should have been him and not his brother.”


Many Americans have stories about how they were almost directly involved in the 9/11 attack themselves. 


“I was supposed to go to a meeting down there at 10 a.m, but the meeting got canceled because of the attack,” Tony DeFeo, a New York City native and master electrician of one of the once standing Twin Towers, said. 


According to Springer, many people have visited him throughout his time being a firefighter to talk about their own stories. Station 63 has a piece of one of the Twin Towers outside of it, which is a main reason why many visit.  The station also has a 9/11 memorial outside for members of the community to honor those who lost their lives that day.


“It’s a daily minute-to-minute reminder to never forget,” said Mike Zingaro, Station 63 Fire Department Captain for Palm Beach Gardens. 


Some first responders coming out of the smoke and debris of the strike have a different mindset and perspective of life.  


“Love everyday like it’s your last,” Springer said.


The World Trade Centers had meaning and depth to some people.


“I built number 7 World Trade Center,” DeFeo said. “I was a master electrician on that job.”


September 11, 2001 will  forever be a date that people remember.