“Boardwalk Empire” actor Steve Buscemi is recalling the harrowing day of September 11, 2001.
September 11, 2001 was a devastating, traumatizing and horrific day in U.S. history. It is a day that will live in infamy and never be forgotten.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the twin towers, the Pentagon and the United States of America as a whole.
Before rising to fame, Buscemi was a New York City firefighter with Engine Company No. 55.
He was with Engine 55 located in Manhattan’s Little Italy neighborhood from 1980-1984.
Former NYC Firefighter!
On the day of 9/11, Buscemi recalls calling the firehouse, but sadly no one answered. It was later discovered that five of the six men who were sent out to ground zero died when the twin towers collapsed and crushed their fire truck, this according to The New York Times.
While appearing on Marc Maron’s podcast, “WTF,” the “Fargo” actor opened up about his time at ground zero and the traumatic effects it still has on him today.
On September 9, Buscemi told Maron, “I still had my turnout coat and my helmet and I just grabbed those things. I was driven into the site that day. Walked around for hours and then found my company, found Engine 55 working there, and asked them if I could join them.”
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He said the firefighters on the ground were very confused as to why a Hollywood actor would be at Ground Zero asking to help, but alas they obliged.
“I could tell they were a little suspicious at first, like, ‘What are you doing here?’ But I worked with them that day,” he said.
He continued to tell Maron his time at Ground Zero still affects him today.
“But definitely, post-traumatic stress, absolutely. I was only there for like, five days. But when I stopped going and sort of tried to just live my life again, it was really, really hard. I was depressed. I was anxious. I couldn’t make a simple decision. It’s still with me. It’s still, you know, like there are times when I talk about 9/11 and I feel myself and I’m just right back there. I just, I start to get choked up and I realize, ‘Ah, this is still a big part of me,'” Buscemi admitted.
TIME magazine also caught with the actor about his 9/11 experience.
“I found a place on a bucket brigade. Instead of water going up, it was rubble coming down,” the actor wrote. “Once in a while a body bag was passed, though none weighed much at all. That was disturbing. The dust? It was more of a nuisance: pulverized concrete and who-knows-what that clogged a face mask, so fast you worked better without one. Somebody’d say, ‘This is probably going to kill us in 20 years.'”
The foreshadowing of this statement is bone chilling.
The “September 11th Victim Compensation Fund” was set up to help those who have been diagnosed with 9/11-related illnesses.
The website states, “The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) provides compensation to individuals (or a personal representative of a deceased individual) who were present at the World Trade Center or the surrounding New York City Exposure Zone; the Pentagon crash site; and the Shanksville, Pennsylvania crash site, at some point between September 11, 2001, and May 30, 2002, and who have since been diagnosed with a 9/11-related illness.”
Buscemi mentioned he has NOT experienced any 9/11-related illnesses or physical health issues.
Over the past ten years, the actor has continued to give back by working with the charity Friends of Firefighters.