PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Not all first responders on September 11 were firefighters or police officers — a local organization stepped up in the days following the tragedy. 9/11 memorials can be found all throughout the region as people remember September 11 and those who did not hesitate to help.
“It’s very important that we grieve in our own way and some of us continue to grieve 20 years later,” Tami Lyn Kosloski said.READ MORE: CBS3 Mysteries: Detectives Searching For Man They Believe Can Help Solve Santino Thomas' Murder Case
On this day two decades ago, Kosloski lost her first husband a New Jersey/New York port authority officer. She still remembers the moment the planes crashed and the towers crumbled.
“I did,” Kosloski said. “I was in my kitchen, my sisters both showed up and told me and I just collapsed.”
Kosloski pointed out his name to Eyewitness News: Donald McIntyre. It was engrained in a wall of first responders at this 9/11 memorial at the Hartsville Fire Company in Bucks County.
“Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, the D.C. area,” Kosloski said. “People remember that in a very different way than people in the midwest and the west coast.”
First responders then wore many different hats. The nearby NOVA — Network of Victim Assistance — said they were the first victim services organization in Pennsylvania to respond.READ MORE: Sharon Hill Borough Council Launches Independent Investigation Into Fatal Shooting Of 8-Year-Old Fanta Bility
“The state called on NOVA to provide this comprehensive victim support program to all the victims and families in Pennsylvania,” Penny Ettinger, Executive Director of NOVA, said.
The group sent three teams to help in the immediate aftermath. They served over 650 families by providing case management, advocacy, and counseling.
“Their lives are unsuspectingly traumatized and they need help,” Ettinger said.
Twenty years later their work continues because while time helps, it doesn’t necessarily heal.
“It’s a very hard day, a day you don’t wanna get out of bed a day. You don’t want to function and you just kind of have to,” Kosloski said. “You have to just keep getting through it.”
NOVA said anyone retraumatized can contact their crisis hotline at 1-800-675-6900 or by clicking here.MORE NEWS: 19-Year-Old Man Killed In Double Shooting Inside Port Richmond Home, Police Say
For more coverage remembering 9/11, click here.