CAVE CREEK, Ariz. — The collapse of the twin towers on 9/11 still haunts many of us even 20 years later. The desperate search for survivors in the following days tormented families around the country.
“Shock. Disbelief. My eyes were seeing things, but my brain couldn’t comprehend. It looked like a third-world country and that a nuclear bomb went off,” said Stacey Goodman.
Stacey Goodman was a young police officer with the Suffolk County Police Department located on Long Island when she got the call to serve at Ground Zero – the day after the attacks.
Goodman was part of a federal agency called the Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team and assisted the medical examiner in a temporary morgue set up next to the massive pile of debris from the downed towers.
“My solemn duty was to do preliminary identification of all the remains that were brought to us,” said Goodman.
She worked 12-hour shifts – 7 days a week for 23 days. There was no time for emotions or exhaustion.
“My duty was to those victims – innocent people going about their day, and it was all taken away from them in a blink of an eye.”
It’s been 20 years since Goodman worked at Ground Zero. She would eventually go on to serve the Suffolk County Police Department as a detective. She retired now and makes her home in Cave Creek.
She wrote a book about her experience titled "The Dust Never Settles."
While the memories fade, she hopes her book can educate future generations about what really happened.
“People approach me since I’ve written the book and say, ‘Did planes really go into the tower?’ Yes, I stood over the landing gear,” said Goodman. “Part of our history. It’s an ugly part but it’s history and we need to learn from it.”
Like many of the people who worked at ground zero – Stacey has respiratory health issues – from all the dust and asbestos lingering in the air.
If you would like to learn more, visit https://staceygoodmanbook.com/
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