9/11 Stories: Peter Abraham


Cameraman Peter Abraham volunteered with the Monroe, New York ambulance crew, near where he lived. His paying job was with ABC News, as a cameraman. On September 11th, Peter was shooting an ABC News piece with country artist Mary Chapin Carpenter on Houston Street, some 4 and a half miles north of The World Trade Center. The crew was in a meeting when the first plane hit the first tower. They continued with the meeting but when word came of the second tower hit, the meeting came to a dead stop. The director, who worked for “World News Tonight” told the crew members it was their decision: they could go home or they could take their cameras and cover the horror that was unfolding downtown. Peter didn’t have to think about it. He wanted to do what he could to help. He wanted to save lives. He walked back to his car to collect his EMT gear, including oxygen, a mask, and his protective suit. Abraham spent two days volunteering with other medics, including setting up an emergency trauma and surgical unit on the set of “Law And Order” at Chelsea Piers. They expected to treat thousands of the catastrophically wounded, anticipating hospitals would be overwhelmed, but by afternoon, they realized the worst. There were no survivors from the Twin Towers. Taking a walk down the West Side Highway to report to his next assignment at the South Ferry, Peter Abraham looked at his sneakers trudging through what looked like snow from a blizzard. He remembers his horror, realizing “I was walking through people”.


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