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Remembering 9/11

Jamie Lawson - September 11, 2011

Search and Rescue Efforts

Scott Baxter, who had previously worked as a volunteer firefighter and was experienced in search and rescue efforts, immediately contacted the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to offer his assistance. He was deployed to the site of the World Trade Center, or Ground Zero, where he began working the night of Wednesday, September 12.

“I was right in the heart of the matter as part of the bucket brigade—a line of workers sifting through debris by hand and loading it into buckets, which were passed up the line and dumped elsewhere,” Baxter explains. “It was obviously a very traumatic event. There was an enormous amount of death and destruction.”

4223A firefighter stands in the rubble at Ground Zero.

Shaun Parry also searched the rubble at Ground Zero. He gets emotional as he tries to describe the devastation. But at the same time, he says, “I’ve never felt that kind of camaraderie. There was an amazing energy of love and brotherhood. On the rare occasion when someone yelled, ‘We found one!’ everyone cheered. During the time I was there, we found nine people.”

While Parry had no training in search and rescue, the Broadway performer utilized his dance talents in a way he could never have imagined. “In one area, there was a bunch of rebar sticking out of the concrete in such a way that you couldn’t really get through it. But because I was much more limber than the firefighters, I was able to slip through, where I found this huge cavern underneath the surface.”

Earning the nickname “Spider-Man,” Parry searched the caverns deep below the surface with a fiber optic scope. At one point, as he was calling out for anyone who might be trapped, he heard three distinct taps. But as Parry searched for the person or people who made the sound, everyone was forced to evacuate because a nearby building had started to collapse. An hour and a half later, when rescue workers were allowed to return to the scene, he rushed back to the area he had been searching. “We never found them,” he says, his voice breaking. “We knew there were people down there, but we weren’t able to get to them in time. That’s the hardest part for me.”

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© LDS Living, September/October 2011.
Comments 5 comments

maryp said...

03:07 PM
on Sep 06, 2011

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None of us will ever forget that fateful day. Thank goodness for the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Plan of Salvation. It takes the sting out of death. Mary Alice Wahlstrom lived in our ward and she will always be missed.

thetruthe said...

03:48 PM
on Sep 07, 2011

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Shame on you Jamie Lawson for pestering families until you get a story. If someone refuses an interview, going to his fame seeking and over zealous wife who craves attention just isn't right.

opr said...

04:45 PM
on Sep 08, 2011

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For some interesting perspective from a very great many architects and engineers from around the country, one may copy/paste the following link:

ldsliving said...

10:21 AM
on Sep 15, 2011

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Rest assured that everyone approached for this article was more than happy to cooperate and felt it was important to share their stories. No one was "pestered," and interviews were conducted as delicately as possible. Both Norm and Margaret Wahlstrom were willingly interviewed. It just turned out that the quote from Margaret fit better with the overall structure and theme of the article.

kireos said...

12:47 PM
on Sep 11, 2012

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@thetruthe - Shame on you for focusing more on how this article came to be instead of letting the article remind you of those who lost thier lives and those who are still fighting for our country because of the acts done on 9/11. Try to remember that some things are more important than spilling hate in the comments below.
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