Tag Archives: World Trade Center


BY: Bruce Berlet

September 11 always elicits memories of that fateful trip down the Merritt Parkway.

A decade ago, I was passing through Meriden on the way to the opening day of Rangers’ training camp at Madison Square Garden when a news flash on the radio revealed a plane had just crashed into one of the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center.

Immediate responses were that a plane had inadvertently went off course and flown too low, but when a second plane hit the other tower, everyone began to believe it was a terrorist attack and instructions were not to enter New York City.

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BY: Bruce Berlet

Two busloads of New York Rangers players and officials were visibly touched Tuesday while visiting three downtown firehouses with four families selected by the Garden of Dreams Foundation to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the City That Never Sleeps.

Former Hartford Wolf Pack players Ryan Callahan and All-Star Marc Staal were especially impressed when they met firefighter Al Spinelli of Engine 24/Ladder 15 on Sixth Avenue, whose first day on the job was Sept. 11, 2001.

“I graduated the academy on Sept. 8, and that was a Saturday. I jumped right in,” Spinelli told Callahan and Staal, who had stunned expressions on their faces. “I wasn’t even in a firehouse yet. I was home in Staten Island when I heard about it. I grabbed my gear and drove right down to the Staten Island Ferry. There were about 70 firefighters waiting there to go over.”