He saw it happen!
16 years ago our country was rocked by the unthinkable when terrorists attacked using our plans against us on September 11th. That day will forever live for the majority of Americans as the worst day we have seen in recent history, and the wounds are still fresh for many. That day we lost family and friends who perished in those ill-fated planes and heroes who did their best to save those trapped in the Twin Towers.
Then over the years, many of those first responders that were there that horrific day have died due to health issues stemming from inhaling the toxic fumes from the burning buildings. Now, just days before Christmas the last first responder that was there to save those on our country’s darkest day has been found dead, and his death only compounds the tragedy of that horrible day.
A former NYPD captain who commanded officers at Ground Zero on 9/11 has taken his own life after a long battle with lung disease. Captain Douglas Greenwood, 61, reportedly shot himself at the entrance of his home in Suffolk County, Long Island. During the attack on 9/11 and the 40 days after it, Greenwood lead the Manhattan South Task Force on his radio which did not allow him to wear a mask to protect his lungs.
Those who worked with Greenwood said that this brave hero worked tirelessly with is men sorting through the rubble looking for any potential survivors. Then shortly, after the attacks, Greenwood began to struggle with his breathing that left him reliant on a breathing machine to make it through the day.
Greenwood was then forced to leave his job on the police force in 2003, but that didn’t stop this brave man from still pushing forward with his life. Greenwood opened a pizza shop where he would often be seen sitting down with his customers getting to know who they were and what they really thought of his pizzas.
Throughout it all though, Greenwood was in constant pain which only increased over time making it nearly impossible for the once healthy police officer even to sleep.
That is when his friends noticed that Greenwood began to talk more about ending his life to escape the pain, and that is what he did just a few days ago.
Here is more Daily Mail:
A former NYPD captain who commanded officers at Ground Zero on 9/11 has taken his own life after a long battle with lung disease.
Captain Douglas Greenwood, 61, shot himself at the entrance to Greenlawn Park near his home in Suffolk County, Long Island.
After leaving the NYPD on 9/11 disability 14 years ago, following 26 years of service, he became the owner of the highly regarded Greenwich Village Bleecker Street Pizza restaurant.
Greenwood was a captain on the Manhattan South Task Force and led officers for 40 straight days at the site but because he was constantly on the radio was unable to keep his protective mask on.
He slept in an oxygen tank for the last 10 years and continued to struggle despite surgery
Greenwood’s friend of 25 years and former detective Ralph Friedman told the New York Post: ‘It was constant, increasing pain. It hurt to breathe.
‘He would never do something like this unless he had no choice. And he had no choice.’
Friedman explained his friend ‘was in charge of all the NYPD boots on the ground’.
‘He’d be commanding the scene, but he also did grunt work – everybody pitched in. Everyone was sifting through the scene for bodies, body parts.
‘He could have stayed in a car. But he was right there. And it cost him his health — as it did for a lot of officers. They did very heroic work — there’s no way around it. And he was right there.’
His long-time friend, photographer Kevin McCormick, said: ‘He talked about shooting himself as an inevitable thing.
‘He said when there’s no more quality of life, I’m going to do it He knew it was coming.’
After retiring he threw himself into his new career, saying he wanted to make pizzas ‘as true to my Italian grandmother’s recipe as possible’.
Friends recalled Greenwood was hugely proud of his pizzeria and would sometimes eat in the dining area, pretending to be a customer so he could overhear what people said about the food.
After the attack the dust from the buildings collapsing lingered in the air for months afterward causing many residents to develop respiratory issues. However, it was our brave first responders that literally suffered from the brunt of the polluted air causing them to become sick with horrible diseases.
Let us take a moment to honor this brave man and all those who lost their lives that tragic day when Muslim terrorists brutally attacked our nation changing our lives forever.