DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — A recently hired firefighter in Durham says the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks motivated her to apply for the position.
On Sunday, she shared how inspiring it was to see first responders rushing towards the World Trade Center towers as so many people ran away.
Annie Hoxie has been firefighter here at this station for just a few weeks.
But Sunday comes full circle for Annie, who was 10 years old, when she watched the terrorist attacks on TV in school.
“We all went down to the cafeteria, and this time everyone was in there and we’re all looking at this one small TV,” she said. “There were a lot of people crying and I didn’t understand what was going on. Then we saw the second plane hit.”
That’s when Annie knew something was wrong.
At 10 years old, she saw the attack, but also saw first responders rushing towards danger.
“I just thought about all those firefighters that went in to that building, both buildings, and their mind was on those people,” she said.
Fifteen years later, when Annie gets that call, her mind is on saving people.
“Being there for somebody when it’s their worst day ever,” she said. “We don’t get calls when everyone’s having a good time. We get calls when something’s happened.”
Of the nearly 3,000 people who died in the attacks, 343 firefighters and paramedics died when the twin towers collapsed.
While that might set fear in some, their braveness inspires Annie.
“That kind of sacrifice, what greater thing could you think to do with your life, than to be in a position to be willing to do something like that,” she said.
Annie, just like the hundreds of firefighters who got that call the morning of September 11, knows when she’s out on a call, she’s not alone.
“You’ve got each other’s backs,” she said. “That gives you self-confidence to go in and focus on your job cause you’ve always got somebody with you.”
Annie is starting her career here at this station where her father retired from 4 years ago.
He worked as a firefighter for 32 years, and was friends with a firefighter who responded to that call on September 11.