David Goldberg was working as a police officer in Norfolk, Virginia, when he saw the attack on the World Trade Center. He immediately decided to come to New York City to help. He organized 40 volunteers to come. His chief tried to discourage the idea, forcing them to use vacation time.
“There was no way I wasn’t coming,” he said during a visit to the 9/11 Memorial, built in the footprint of the Twin Towers.
One of them was fellow Norfolk police officer Miles Warren, who grew up in New York and graduated from Great Neck South High School. “My first job was at Nathan’s in Flushing,” he said. He wasn’t going to be dissuaded from coming to help New York, either.
Both now retired – Warren said he was forced out four months shy of his 25 years because he suffers from health issues that originated from his time working search and rescue on the pile – it was Warren’s first time visiting the memorial, though not back to New York to visit family.
“I couldn’t come back before. It was too emotional,” he said. Warren, who shows his 9/11 tattoo, said he got goosebumps when he first saw the memorial.
When they came, they were part of search and rescue, working directly on the pile. “For the first few days we had no PPE,” said Goldberg, who suffered a broken nose from a steel bar. “We worked around the clock.”
They did whatever they were asked – guarding the Armory, backing up the NYPD, patrolling. They came three times to New York.
“This was the proudest moment of my entire police career,” said Goldberg, who brought his 27-year old son, Yosef, visiting New York for the first time. “All the crimes I solved, to this day, this was the proudest.”