CHARLESTON,WV (WOWK) On September 11, 2001 Terry Wright left his home in Huntington, WV and headed for New York. He was part of the American Red Cross Disaster Relief effort serving as an experienced Disaster Action Team captain.
He stopped by the WOWK-TV offices in Charleston Friday with a heartfelt message. He said he never forgot the kindess of one of our then staff members as he was leaving town to begin his service.
“He said ‘good luck’ that was all he could say. We got in our truck and left Huntington,” Wright recounted about the interview with the videographer. Wright presented managers at WOWK-TV with a flag as a symbol of his gratitude.
But then we sat down with him to listen to his thoughts of the anniversary.
“I was stationed at gate one, that is where you came in and where you left,” Wright said. “You either walked in, walked out or were carried out.”
Wright remembers vivid details about his time at Ground Zero. He saw things he said he will never forget. At the root of many of those memories is the emotional toll the experience took on those who were there.
As the country recognizes the heroes of that day, he said those volunteering with national disaster relief organizations are often overlooked. “Remember the workers and their families,” he said.
The physical impact of being at Ground Zero in the days, weeks and months that followed continues to haunt Wright and those who served along side him.
“Since 9/11 there’s more responders died from the attack than in the World Trade. Like I tell people we have a park in New York City and today we are honoring 170 people that we lost just in one year,” Wright said.
In the years since the disaster more than 100 different illness including more than 50 different types of cancer have been identified related to exposure to the toxic air at Ground Zero in the aftermath of 9/11.
If you or someone you know was involved in the rescue, recovery or cleanup you can visit NYCOSH for more information.