Everyday Heroes

The attacks on America on September 11, 2001 produced some heroes, some miracles. One of these is now retired New York City firefighter Joe Torrillo, who rushed to the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 and was buried under the rubble when the twin towers toppled.

As the sun set on that terrible day, 344 firefighters had been declared dead. Torrillo was the only one found alive in the debris. He now uses his memories of pain and suffering to offer words of wisdom to students all over the world through assemblies and personal appearances.

“We believed so much in our job and what we represented that we were able to lay down our life so that somebody else would live,” he says. Torrillo still doesn’t understand how he was lucky enough to live, but it’s been very clear to him in the years that followed why he chose to be a firefighter.

He tells others that the people who will do the most for you in life will be the people you never expected.


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