BRADENTON, Fla. — There are many remembrance ceremonies happening Friday around the Bay area, state and nation.
In Bradenton a “Tribute to Heroes” memorial service took place at Rossi Park.
This year is especially hard, due to limits on ceremonies due to Covid-19.
What You Need To Know
- Bradenton resident Garrett Lindgren is a former NY firefighter
- On Sept. 11, 2001, Lindgren searched for survivors at Ground Zero
- Lindgren has a number of health issues related to 9/11
Due to the nature of Florida, so many people who either survived the terrorist attacks or the first responders who rushed toward danger now live in the Sunshine State.
And some are dealing with lasting, serious health problems from what happened that day, including Garrett Lindgren.
A former New York City firefighter, Lindgren now calls Bradenton home.
He said the memories from Sept. 11, 2001 just don’t fade.
“It’s a terrorist attack that’s still killing people all these years later,” Lindgren said.
Lindgren rushed towards danger that day as part of Rescue 3 team from the Bronx. He abandoned his truck, braved the thick, black smoke and started looking for survivors.
But the months he spent at Ground Zero took a serious toll on his body.
He has a number of respiratory issues and illnesses from chemical exposure, and a weak immune system.
“I’m lucky I’m here, so I’m not going to complain about that at all,” he said.
Unable to travel or see his friends due to Covid-19, it’s been an isolating year for him.
Lindgren said in just this last year alone, he’s lost six colleagues, FDNY firefighters who worked right beside him, to 9-11 related illnesses.
And it’s been tough not being to connect with his fellow firefighters like he used to.
“I’m not alone,” Lindgren said. “There’s tens of thousands of good Americans who are dealing with what I’m dealing with or worse. So I put it in perspective”