Remembering 9/11: Retired Corning Police Chief Describes Ground Zero


As we get closer to the 17th Anniversary of the September 11th terror attacks, many are starting to think back to where they were the day those planes were hijacked and crashed into the Twin Towers, Pentagon, and a field near Shanksville, claiming the lives of nearly 3,000 people.

In the days following those attacks, first responders from across the country fled to New York City to aid in the response and recovery efforts.

One of our own from right here in the Twin Tiers was one of the many that answered the call to duty.

Salvatore Trentanelli describes what he saw upon arrival at ground zero.
“There was just so much everywhere you looked at it and figured how are they ever going to pick this up and get back to normal but as usual, as Americans, we did but it look a long time,” Trentanelli, retired Corning Police Chief said. 

“Our uniforms are dark blue and it only took two minutes and everything was turning white and it was covered in concrete dust, it’s also pieces of people, it’s property, it’s concrete, it’s other building materials, and it’s in the air and it’s all over,” Trentanelli added. 

“People were suited up and they’re sifting through debris just trying to find anything they can find that resembles a person…people want closure and usually when there’s an incident there’s recovery and you get part of your loved one back and in this case a lot of them didn’t, Trentanelli said. 

Trentanelli spent a week at ground zero before returning home, enlisting more local enforcement, and heading back to the city to provide further assistance. 

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