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9/11 Was Hard On Responders – And Rescue Dogs: ‘We Would Hide And They Could Find Us.’


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Retired NYPD detective Michael Saxe says the scene at Ground Zero was surreal – like something out of a war movie. There was dust and ash everywhere. People had written eerie messages in the windows.

Saxe was just a few blocks away when Building 7, a 47-story building, collapsed on September 11, 2001.

“And the way it came down, in just one straight rumble,” Saxe said. “You felt it in the street. You felt it in your body. You felt the whole thing come down.”

Saxe spent 30 days doing search and rescue at Ground Zero after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. It was hard on first responders – and on the search dogs.

“We had to bring their morale up,” Saxe said. “So we would hide and they could find us. And you’d actually see a complete change in their demeanor from depressed to happy because they finally found somebody.”

Saxe works as a police chaplain, and consults with law enforcement agencies on how to help first responders deal with post-traumatic stress disorder.


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Abe Aboraya

About Abe Aboraya

Health Reporter

Abe Aboraya started writing for newspapers in High School. After graduating from the University of Central Florida in 2007, he spent a year traveling and working as a freelance reporter for the Seattle Times and the Seattle Weekly, and working for local news websites in the San Francisco Bay area. Most recently Abe ... Read Full Bio »

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