|Published:||Sep 04, 2012 4:38 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Sep 04, 2012 6:05 PM EDT|
FORT MYERS, Fla.- The anniversary of 9/11 is a week away and a local man is sharing his story in a new book. Through the Eyes of the Ironworkers shows the images and perspective of New York ironworkers at Ground Zero.
"This is not a Tommy Harris story. This is not a Tommy Harris book. It's an ironworker book. I want everybody to see through our eyes what we were looking at the whole time we were there," he said.
Tommy Harris Junior is a native New Yorker and second generation ironworker. He now lives in Fort Myers. Harris is sharing the stories and pictures of Local 40.
"My job description was burning steel, removing steel, picking the steel up putting it on trucks. so we could make driveways coming in," he said.
But the men of steel, quickly found another purpose.
"I had a fireman, he must have been a captain or something and he came over to me and the four guys I was working with and he says my last radio contact with my son was in this area and sure enough about two days later, we found his son. We let him know. That was a big part of why we were there," he said.
During the five months at ground zero, Harris hoped to find someone alive. It never happened.
"Standing on 200 piles of steel and then you have every so often body bags coming past you," he said.
Harris remembers the smell of death everywhere. Ashes from victims, glass from the towers and other debris filled their lungs but there was a job to do.
"We were the ones that put that steel up and we were the ones that were going to take it out," said Harris.
Amidst the destruction was something that harris says could not be destroyed. The human spirit, the American spirit.
"Just coming down the street and seeing people cheering you and screaming for you and I just looked at my buddy and started crying. That's something I'll never forget as long as I live. I'm thankful for that."
Harris will be at book signing on September 12th at the fire station off Three Oaks Parkway. If you'd like to purchase the book, go to http://ironworkers911.com/.
Proceeds go to the New York Fire Department.
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