Remembering September 11, 2001

In honor of FDNY Rescue One Manhattan Firefighter David M. Weiss

The National Health and Public Safety History Museum has taken great pride and honor in building our Freedom Chapel. Through partnerships with the Freedom Flag Foundation and Moulage Concepts, we've incorporated a 9/11 remembrance chapel into the museum.

On display is a portion of N-131, a supporting steel column from the 92-95th floors of the North Tower, World Trade Center, New York City, New York.

Before being acquired by the Freedom Flag Foundation, it was in the care of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) and stored in Hanger 17.

2,977 Victims
343 Firefighters
71 Law Enforcement Officers
55 Military Personnel
8 Private EMTs and Paramedics
&
Over 2,100 Due to Post-9/11 Illness

The Freedom Flag was founded on September 20, 2001, as Richard Melito sat in his restaurant in Richmond, Virginia and sketched a symbol commemorating the events which occurred nine days earlier. His intention was to create a symbol for display on the wall within his establishment that would always remind his patrons of the tragedy and triumph of September 11, 2001. Sixteen months later the Freedom Flag became a part of Virginia history when it was designated the state’s official symbol of remembrance honoring the victims and heroes of 9/11 by then Governor Mark Warner.

8:46:40: Flight 11 crashes into the north face of the North Tower (1 WTC) of the World Trade Center, between floors 93 and 99. The aircraft enters the tower intact.
9:02:57: Flight 175 crashes into the south face of the South Tower (2 WTC) of the World Trade Center, between floors 77 and 85. Parts of the plane, including the starboard engine, leave the building from its east and north sides, falling to the ground six blocks away.
9:37:46: Flight 77 crashes into the western side of The Pentagon and starts a violent fire.
9:59:00: The South Tower of the World Trade Center collapses, 56 minutes after the impact of Flight 175.
10:03:11: Flight 93 is crashed by its hijackers as a result of fighting in the cockpit 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
10:28:22: The North Tower of the World Trade Center collapses, 1 hour and 42 minutes after the impact of Flight 11. The Marriott Hotel, located at the base of the two towers, is also destroyed.

Also seen on display within the Freedom Chapel is the "Hands of Catastrophic Change", a part of the Tending Hands collection by Moulage Concepts. These hands represent the tireless efforts of the FDNY and other departments from around the country that responded to the collapse of the World Trade Center. Showing the cuts, burns and other injuries of the responders as gloves designed to protect them for years became torn away from the hot and jagged metal, the large chunks of broken concrete, the broken glass and other debris and rubble. These are the hands of the responders who wouldn't rest until everyone was rescued from the debris.

The fires inside the rubble burned for more than 3 months, the 1.8 Million Tons of rubble took more than 9 months to clear.

Firefighter David M. Weiss, FDNY Rescue 1 Manhattan

David was the cousin of the founder and curator, Jonathon Weiss, and the director of the museum, Eddy Weiss.

David Weiss was one of 343 New York City firefighters to die on September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center.

What follows is a profile written about Weiss in The New York Times:
"David Martin Weiss, a New York City firefighter, was built like a fire-plug. He stood 5-foot-10 and weighed 225 pounds. He was all muscle, with biceps as big as the thigh of a medium-build woman.

Born on July 21, 1960

Died on September 11, 2001

He was bulldozer strong. He looked as tough as he sounded. His head was shaved and his body was covered in tattoos. He drove Harleys. He was an ironworker before he became a firefighter 13 years ago. He blended both experiences to become a member of the Fire Department's elite force. He joined Rescue Company 1 in Times Square about six years ago after receiving a medal for a rescue attempt - a man's car careered off Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive and plunged into the East River. Mr. Weiss, off duty, stopped his car, climbed down the iron trestles of the elevated highway and jumped into the river to rescue the driver, whose heart had given out."He just jumped, knowing that he was the person's only hope," said Thor Johannnesen, another Rescue 1 firefighter.Rescue 1, which was the first rescue company established in the entire United States, fights fires underground, pries people from high-rise elevators and pulls them from burning buildings. Their response area extends more than 100 Manhattan blocks. The men of FDNY’s elite Rescue 1 unit are specialists, called in to fight the unusual fires, free trapped firefighters, and save lives. One minute, they’re inside a high-rent high rise that’s spewing scalding steam onto Wall Street. The next, they’re racing uptown to a help a homeless man living under a bridge who has been hit by a train. They were heroes long before Sept. 11th.During the summer of 2001, a television show called "The Bravest" shot almost 100 hours of tape, capturing everyday acts of courage by the men of Rescue 1. "Lots of heroic deeds are done here. Lots of heroic stuff that’s never said. More heroic than anything you can imagine," said Weiss on one of those tapes. "I was born for fire fighting. I’m a legend. Ever since I was a kid, I knew what I wanted to do. Organized chaos is a fire situation and you can’t beat the action in Manhattan. The emergency work. The fires. The buildings. You don’t find this anywhere in the world."On firefighter George Healy's first night on the job at Rescue 1, he was assigned to a long vigil at a Madison Avenue building whose facade had collapsed. A fellow fireman, who recognized that Healy was tired, offered to finish his shift for him. Healy was reluctant, but David Weiss insisted, citing his seniority. When Healy returned to the station, he learned that Weiss had no authority to send him home. "He had Weissed me," Healy said, using a phrase coined by fellow members of Rescue 1 to describe Weiss' mischievous but good-hearted antics.David had a great sense of humor, "If he saw a thread, he knew how to pull it to unravel the whole shirt," said Joel Kanasky, another firefighter. "He was the king of that."David Martin Weiss, 41, of Maybrook, NY was declared missing on September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center Tower One. A memorial service was held at Central Synagogue, NYC on September 30, 2001. He is survived by his children, Michael and Alissa."

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