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Heroes of Ground Zero

In Their Words:

Richie Murray

Oh I was angry. I'm still angry. I'd still like to do anything I could to get even but, the anger is inside now and I'm not I mean before there was road rage, there was fighting with the family, fighting with the firehouse guys, and that subsided. It's anger that I'd like to direct in a positive way, where I could get something done. But, yeah the anger was definitely there and it's still here.

Yeah, there are some guys here that will not talk about it at all. Most of us don't talk about feelings in the way you just described "feelings." What we do is rehash what happened that day, and that's our way of showing our emotions. We go over where I was, where he was, how you felt at that moment; we don't necessarily go 'I'm having trouble sleeping,' you know that still don't happen. It's never going to happen. You can't show that much weakness around here. We all go to shrinks, that's why we go there, so that they'll listen to us go, 'oh I'm not feeling good.' So that's the deal.

The last year has been a roller coaster, from peaks and valleys, up and down; it's been actually an educational ride, you know, and I didn't think I'd learn so much in one year as I learned. I don't want to do this again, but it has its merits in that sense that now I learned a lot of things about other people, how we have to recover from the worst, that you can move on, and things can get back to semi-normal. The last year's been really a roller coaster.

Fighting fires for the guys that are still working hasn't changed one bit. We still run in as fast as we can; we do not hesitate. No one is saying 'take it easy, something bad could happen.' Everybody does exactly what we did, and we have to do that to teach the new guys the way it is, the way it was. You can't say to them 'after nine eleven, now we're not going to run into those buildings as fast, we're going to stand outside and make sure.' No way. You still go in; I still drive the rig as fast as I can; everybody jumps and runs. So as far as that, we're still running right in buildings; there's no second thoughts. The guys that are having second thoughts aren't working. They're off chart, they're in counseling, they're doing whatever they're doing there but they're not working anymore. There are some guys that cannot work anymore. Two of our guys are never coming back. Psychologically. The rest of us that are here have to go back to exactly the way it was.

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