CBS 17 helps honor Triangle’s 9/11 first responders 18 years after attacks

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Every Wednesday, CBS 17 Cares teams up with John Hiester Automotive to recognize and honor local first responders by providing them lunch.

On Wednesday, 18 years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Drive Shack in Raleigh joined in to give a special thanks to local first responders who worked at Ground Zero.

“Our biggest problems that we’ve had is we’ve got guys who were affected by the sicknesses that have occurred since responding to 9/11. Those are now kind of flourishing in our bodies,” said Bob Young, who is former New York Police Department officer.

Young leads the organization Raleigh 10-13. It’s made up of 9/11 first responders who now live in the Triangle. The group started 12 years ago with 25 members and now has 145. The name 10-13 is the call sign for an officer in distress.

“We have 241 members in the NYPD that have passed away from 9/11 illnesses since 9/11. That’s a huge number. That’s not including who died during the event,” Young said.

There are two officers dying a month. That doesn’t include firemen and other first responders.

“You’re in an abyss, and you’re looking down several stories into the ground and not seeing anything, You’re not seeing desks. You’re not seeing glass. You’re not seeing telephones. You’re not seeing large pieces of material, Robert Hill recalled. “It’s just dust.”

That dust ended up causing everything from cancer to respiratory diseases.

“I think it’s very important. As the years go by, people forget, and I think it’s important for people to get together and talk about what you went through,” said former NYPD officer Rick Doherty. “Some of the pain, you still feel some of the trauma.”

Doherty and Hill said it helps to have a group of people who went and are going through the exact same thing to take time to just tee off a golf ball and, as Robert puts it, “live.”

“I would assume — and I would love to know — 3,000 people wish I was doing this. Don’t stop living. Don’t stop you’re freedoms because if you do the people that did this they’re getting what they want.”

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