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‘It was a twilight zone movie’: Former New York firefighter remembers 9/11

Posted at 7:28 PM, Sep 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-13 01:24:06-04

TUCSON, Ariz. -- It’s been 19 years since the attack on the World Trade Center, but one former New York firefighter says he remembers it like it was yesterday.

Marana Police Officer Dan Rowan says every day is emotional, but 9/11 is tougher than usual.

“It’s the toughest day of my life. You can’t really forget that day,” he told KGUN9.

He says he could hear sirens going off as first responders rushed to the World Trade Center.

Then, when the towers came down...

“There was no sound cuz everything got knocked out. You had to scuttle different rigs. Like my rig was on fire. Debris flying everywhere, but nobody running, yelling, and screaming. All you had were the lights going click click, click click, click click. It was a twilight zone movie,” he added.

Chaos that robbed him of his inner peace, and took away his friends, who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

“I lost 10 out of 15--of close people that I work with on a daily basis. It took seven years to build the trade center and it took 53 minutes for the building to come down,” Officer Rowan told KGUN9.

While his colleagues didn’t make it out that day, he says they are still with him, every day.

“I wear my men over my heart. I have them in my car. I really feel that they never miss a call with me. So by them being in my pocket and by them being over on top of me, and by them being in the pocket of my turnout coat from New York City, they never miss a call,” he said with tears in his eyes.

He also carries the gear he wore that day, in his car. And wears it when duty calls, as a way to remember and honor those who lost their lives.

“When I finally leave. I will be at peace...but until that day, I will never have peace. It’s just a bad thing,” he said.