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    Tribute In Light beams through the sky ahead of September 11

    LOWER MANHATTAN (WABC) — Monday marks 22 years since September 11, 2001, when terrorists attacked New York City and the United States, claiming thousands of lives and changing the face of our nation forever.

    On Sunday night the Tribute in Light beamed through the sky, honoring the thousands of victims who died that day – and in the years since.

    Robert Gray was Chief of Police for NORAD 22 years ago – that is the bunker in Colorado that monitors our airspace for a possible nuclear strike on U.S. soil. Never did he or anyone else imagine the attack would come in the form of commercial jets.

    “We walk into this area, it made me start to weep,” said Gray.

    On the evening of September 11, it is hard not to weep. Indeed, the pain continues to mount.

    James Brosi, President of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association lost his brave father, Lt. Joseph Brosi, this year from 9/11-related cancers.

    “Between me, my brother, and my father, we’ve been serving the FDNY for almost 100 years. My brother was also in the collapse at the time. He has some other debilitating side effects from that exposure as well,” said Chief Brosi.

    343 firefighters died when the Twin Towers collapsed. In the years since, 341 members of the FDNY have succumbed to Ground Zero-related illnesses. Sadly, that list continues to grow.

    “Unfortunately, the exposure of that day and the days that followed during the rescue and recovery efforts have really started to take its toll,” said Brosi.

    The former Air Force officer taught anti-terrorism training. He’s visiting the city for ministry but says the need to be prepared never ceases.

    “The message tonight – we need to be ready for anything,” Gray added.

    RELATED | ‘Eyewitness to 9/11: Behind the Lens’ reveals untold stories, rare video of America’s darkest day

    CLICK HERE for more Eyewitness News reflections, photos and stories marking the anniversary of 9/11


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