NEW YORK – Ten years ago, Manhattan firefighter Michael Simon helped carry the remains of 11 colleagues from the fiery debris of ground zero.
And still today, the firefighters at Engine Co. 24, Ladder Co. 5, Battalion 2 miss their colleagues for many things, including "their wealth of knowledge," as Simon puts it.
He says he still practices the skills they taught him.
Two of the 11 were never recovered from the World Trade Center site, where 343 firefighters died Sept. 11.
Firefighters from Simon's West Village firehouse searched the smoking rubble three days for their co-workers, never losing hope until they found them in the north tower.
The surprise was that even dead, the firefighters were lined up in the same rank order as when responding to fires.