From working at Ground Zero to watching it unfold on TV, New Yorkers remember 9/11


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AMSTERDAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) — It was a Tuesday morning 19 years ago, and Jeff Samerson was enjoying his day off when his Lieutenant called. Samerson is now a retired EMT with the New York City Fire Department (FDNY), but he remembers that the second plane hit the Twin Towers as he made his way into work.

Retired FDNY EMT Jeff Samerson sings the National Anthem Friday at the 19th anniversary of 9/11 in the City of Amsterdam.

Samerson hoped to make it to Ground Zero, but his Lieutenant had him and his partner staying in Brooklyn by the Brooklyn Bridge and answering 911 calls. Samerson recalls going to Ground Zero in the evening with his partner, shifting body bags from one area to another, and they did that through the night.

In 2001, Michelle Hinchey was in her biology class in high school when the planes struck the Twin Towers.

Michelle Hinchey was in high school in her biology class when her teacher left the classroom with another teacher. Hinchey said they were gone for a long time, and when they came back, they brought in a TV. She remembers the other kids being confused and not understanding what was happening.

Two events stand out for Sandy Grieco. The first was the assignation of John F. Kennedy. The second was the day when she was at her job and a co-worker came in telling her a plane just hit the Twin Towers.

“It’s not something you forget,” she said Friday.

Like a lot of people that day, she thought it must have been an accident; that something must have happened at one of the city airports. Grieco said the second plane hit, and she realized this was no accident. She was terrified and wondered where her family was.

Amsterdam Mayor Michael Cinquanti laying the wreath at Friday’s 9/11 memorial.

Friday morning in Amsterdam, the city held its annual memorial. Samerson sang the National Anthem, which was followed by the ringing of a bell for the over 3,000 killed that day and a wreath-laying by Amsterdam Mayor Michael Cinquanti.

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