Tribute Video to the American Hero Dogs of 9/11

Photo courtesy of Dog Bless You on Facebook.

More than 300 search and rescue dogs and their handlers responded to ground zero after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. They were there to help hours after the buildings collapsed and in the months that followed.

One of those dogs was Trakr who found the last survivor among the rubble of the Twin Towers on the morning of Sept. 12, 2001.  Many of the handlers recall – the dogs didn’t seem “ruffled at all” by the devastation, but  instead many were anxious to get to work looking for survivors.

The search and rescue dogs also served as therapy dogs for the hundreds of firefighters and police who spent countless hours searching for the remains of their colleagues.

The 9/11 American Hero Dogs that have passed since:

  • Trakr – March 1993 to April 2009
  • Roselle – March 1998 to June 2011
  • Sirius – March 1997 to Sept. 11, 2001
  • Kinsey – Ma7 1999 to Jan. 2007
  • Jenner – Sept. 1992 to June 2004
  • Abby – Oct. 1997 to Sept. 2011

Below is a video tribute to the dogs and their handlers by American Hero Dog:

September 11, 2001 New York by the Numbers

Security, tourists and memorials around construction at the World Trade Center site on Tuesday, May 3, 2011 in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

My thanks to New York Magazine for this — with this note — we are not defined by numbers, instead by our experiences and how we respond.

The Towers

  • The initial numbers are indelible: 8:46 a.m. and 9:02 a.m.
  • Time the burning towers stood: 56 minutes and 102 minutes.
  • Time they took to fall: 12 seconds.

The First Responders

  • 343 Number of firefighters and paramedics killed
  • 23  Number of New York Police officers killed
  • 37  Number of Port Authority police officers killed

The Workers

  • 1,402 Number of employees who died in Tower One
  • 614  Number of employees who died in Tower Two
  • 115  Number of nations whose citizens were killed in the attack

New Yorkers

  • 422,000 Number of New Yorkers estimated to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of 9/11

A full encyclopedia of 9/11 compiled by New York Magazine is available HERE.

Navy Secretary Accelerates USS New York Move to Florida

The amphibious USS New York transits New York Harbor past the Statue of Liberty on her way to commissioning Nov. 7, 2009. Photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Eric M. Durie, U.S. Navy.

Forged from the steel of the World Trade Center, the USS New York will make Florida’s Naval Station Mayport its home port sooner than expected.

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced Friday that the USS New York  is scheduled to move from its current home port in Norfolk, VA in the last quarter of 2013. That’s ahead of schedule by more than a year. The USS Iwo Jima and the USS Fort McHenry will follow in 2014.

Mabus accelerated the timeline to relocate the amphibious readiness group (ARG) ships to ensure the viability of the Mayport ship repair base and to “maintain the capabilities of the Jacksonville fleet concentration area” according to a news release.

“I am very pleased that the Navy is able condense the time horizon for the arrival of the Mayport ARG,” stated Mabus.  “The move underscores just how important Jacksonville and Naval Station Mayport are to our national defense, and how committed we are to strategic dispersal on the east coast.”

USS New York. Photo courtesy of

A Seminary Student, Now an Army Mom Reflects on 9/11

The new second lieutenants, family and friends. L-R: Phil Warner, 2LT Brian Papke, 2LT Nelson Lalli, SFC Keith Polidoro, Dorie Griggs, Chelle Leary. photo by Stanley Leary.

10 years ago on September 11, 2001 I was supposed to be serving on jury duty.  As a full-time seminary student my service that day was differed and I attended class instead.  It was a World Missions class.  After class ended I headed to the chapel like many of my fellow students did every morning for the daily chapel service.

When I arrived outside the chapel, I saw a group gathering.  It isn’t unusual to see something different outside the chapel.  I just assumed we were going to process in together.  As I got closer I realized this gathering focused their attention on a TV screen. The first tower of the World Trade Center had been hit. My fellow seminarians stood around in shock, a scene that was repeated in various forms around the world that day.

Today, 10 years later, about 11 of my oldest sons classmates report to Ranger School at Ft. Benning.  They have completed their training in Infantry Basic Officer Leader Course. These young men were in Middle School on September 11, 2001. I imagine some decided that day ten years ago that they would serve their country.

In four weeks my oldest son will graduate from Armor Basic Officer Leader Course then three weeks later report to Ranger School.

10 years ago while standing in front of that television set on the campus of Columbia Theological Seminary, I couldn’t have imagined how the following ten years would unfold.  I was about to start a year-long unit of Clinical Pastoral Education.  My focus was on developing a model of chaplaincy to journalists who cover traumatic events.

I knew through my journalist friends that they, like other first responders, saw and experienced trauma up close.  I also knew then, as I do now, unlike firefighters, police EMS and other first responders journalists do not get the same training or support the others have.  My call to be a supportive presence to journalists who risk their safety to keep us informed was formed leading up to and including the 2001 – 2002 school year.

Dorie Griggs with Dart Center Ochberg Fellows, Mike Walter, John McCusker, Moni Basu at the screening of Mike Walter’s documentary, “Breaking News, Breaking Down.” photo by Stanley Leary.

Since 2001, I have had the opportunity to meet and be mentored by some of the leading researchers in the area of traumatic stress studies. The Rosalyn Carter Mental Health Journalism Program have afforded me tremendous opportunities to meet and learn from scholars and researchers in the area of traumatic stress. The leadership of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma has taught me a great deal about the trials journalists go through.  I’ve had the privilege to also learn from and listen to the struggles of journalists who have covered some of the world’s worst disasters, both natural and man-made.

A few of these journalists were there at the World Trade Center and at the Pentagon the morning of 9/11/01. Photojournalist David Handschuh was at the foot of the WTC when it began to collapse.  He was seriously injured that day.  Mike Walter was on his way to the DC TV station, where he served as an anchor, when a plane hit the Pentagon. Both journalists are fellows with the Dart Center and members of the Dart Society.  I am grateful to them for sharing their personal stories.

I am still on the journey to be a supportive presence to journalists. My call has expanded to also teach civilians about traumatic stress and how to be supportive to our returning veterans. I now serve on the board of directors for the nonprofit, Care For The Troops.

10 years ago standing in front of that TV on the seminary campus I could not have predicted the wide variety of journalists I would come to know both in the US and abroad.  I could not imagine that my then 12-year-old son and his friends from The Citadel would be second lieutenants training with the U.S Army Rangers, or that I’d even know what that training entails.

I am grateful to the many people who have seen the importance of this call to be a supportive presence to journalists and also to the members of the military and veterans.

Twin Towers Destroyed on 9/11 Return as USS New York

NEW YORK -- The crew of USS New York man the rails and present honors to the Ground Zero site, here, Sept. 8, as the ship arrives in Manhattan. (Official Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Randall A. Clinton / RELEASED)

Like a Phoenix rising from the ashes – a modern Navy ship has been molded from steel recovered at the site of the collapsed World Trade Center Twin Towers.

On Sept. 11, USS New York will move from its anchorage in the Hudson River to a location within sight of the World Trade Center. Members of all branches of the military, including Navy and Marine Corps service members from USS New York, will participate in the honor guard during the city’s commemoration ceremony.

NEW YORK (Sept. 8, 2011) The amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21) arrives in New York City to participate in commemorations of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.(U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Cmdr. Sarah Higgins/Released)

USS New York is the sixth U.S. Navy ship to be named to honor the state of New York. Her bow stem includes seven and a half tons of steel recovered and re-forged from the World Trade Center’s twin towers.

The ship is an Amphibious Transport Dock and features many design elements and furnishings throughout her interior that serve as tributes to the events of 9/11. The ship’s motto is “Strength forged through sacrifice. Never forget.”

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