A retired firefighter who moved to South Carolina the year before the 9/11 attacks has made it his mission to make sure people remember the sacrifices of that day.
“It was just terrible. I just can’t describe it when I found out his name was on the list,” Richard Hulse said. “I knew once they got up there, they were going to lose contact, radio-wise, which they did and they weren’t gonna be able to get out. And it was just terrible to watch.”
Hulse said he watched on television as fellow emergency workers and even some close friends died in the Twin Towers, including 46-year-old Raymond Meisenheimer.
“He was a big man, tall, heavy, and he always picked on me because of my size. He’d say, ‘Come on Hulse, I know you can do this, get with it,’ and he was just a good friend. He was close to retirement and it’s just a shame,” he said.
Hulse moved from New York to Chester County in 2000. He worked at the Greenport Fire Department as a firefighter and chief for decades.
He has also worked for decades to keep the memory of his friends alive.
Hulse even brought steel, which used to be part of the Twin Towers, to Chester County. It has been shaped into a memorial that sits outside the Fort Lawn Community Center.
“We call it Rising to Heaven, which I think is appropriate,” he said.
Whenever the community honors first responders around 9/11, Hulse is also there. It is these little actions he hopes will help his community remember the importance of the day for years to come.
“My main objective is, I don’t want people to forget -- that’s the main thing,” he said.
(WATCH BELOW: A timeline of the 9/11 attacks)