Task Force One remembers 9/11 - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Task Force One remembers 9/11

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Tom Neal keeps pictures of New York City above his desk. Tom Neal keeps pictures of New York City above his desk.
Tom Neal, Indiana Task Force One Tom Neal, Indiana Task Force One
Bill Brown, Indiana Task Force One Bill Brown, Indiana Task Force One
9/11, New York City 9/11, New York City

INDIANAPOLIS - After the September 11th attacks, Hoosiers from Task Force One traveled to ground zero to assist in rescue and recovery efforts.They were there even before the dust settled, offering a hand to those whose lives were torn apart.

On September 11th, 2001, New York dropped to its knees. On September 12th, the rest of America arrived to begin the long process of picking it back up. Task Force One from Indiana responded.

"Events like this morning. The news reports, replay of the video. It brings a lot of those emotions right back," said Tom Neal.

Neal sits at his Task Force Once office in Indianapolis working to make sure Indiana and America is prepared to deal with this kind of devastation if it should happen again. Pictures of the events of 9/11 are prominently displayed above his computer keyboard.

Three thousand people lost their lives that day. Even as Eyewitness News broadcast live from ground zero, the parade of ambulances never seemed to stop. We reported as the rescue workers came away from the towers after putting in a long day, New Yorkers lined the west side highway to cheer them on.

That applause and the applause from the large rally on Monument Circle that greeted Task Force One when they returned has long since faded. But the aftermath - 16 acres of ten-story rubble that engulfed three thousand people - is still there.

It's a day of death to Bill Brown, and a constant black and white reminder that colors in why he has the job he has.

"To think it ends today is a total falsehood for the American people," said Brown.

The candles that illuminated New York at dusk the evening after continue to burn.

"In parts of history we can never forget and I think September 11th is a day we should never forget," said Neal.

Some members of Task Force One suffer from respiratory problems from their time of working on the "pile," as they called it. As an organization it is battling federal budget cutbacks, but in spite of everything Task Force One remains vigilant.

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