He Wanted Revenge for Brother's 9/11 Death, Found Something Else

It's been 17 years to the day
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 11, 2018 12:20 PM CDT
Smoke billows from the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York on Sept. 11, 2001.   (AP Photo/Gene Boyars, File)

(Newser) – As the US remembers the 9/11 attacks that took place 17 years ago, the Louisville Courier Journal relays the remarkable story of a young girl's note to those helping in the aftermath. Emily Ernspiker, then a 7-year-old in Kentucky, donated a pair of work gloves that made their way to Manhattan and into the hands of trucker Dave Triola, who was hauling debris from Ground Zero. When he put them on, he found a note inside: "Dear Fireman, These gloves are to help you when you search for bodies. Thank you for helping other people." Triola broke down and has saved the note all these years, leading to a reunion of sorts this year. Details and related coverage:

  • A meeting: This summer, Triola got in touch with a Journal reporter who tracked down Ernspiker, and the pair met for the first time. “My Nana told me to tuck it deep into the glove so it wouldn't get lost,” says Ernspiker of the note. Triola, meanwhile, plans to give it to the Smithsonian. "I've heard it called the 9/12 attitude," he says of the unity in the US after the attack. "And it lasted for a little while. Not long enough. And hopefully sharing this story will bring a little piece of that back."
  • Army vet: After Joe Quinn's brother died in one of the towers, Quinn joined the Army to exact revenge, filled with hatred for hijacker Mohammad Atta, he writes in the New York Times. It "has embarrassingly taken me 17 years to realize something, and what I realized was this: Seventeen years ago, staring at that picture of Mohammad Atta, I wanted revenge against the people who killed my brother. But what I finally realized was that the people who killed my brother died the same day he did." Which leads him to the essay's final words: "End the war."

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