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Paul McCormack
  Irish Voice  

From Ballybofey, Co. Donegal. Emigrated to the U.S. in 1986.

NYPD Background
"I was working construction when I first came out. Shoveling concrete will inspire you to get out of anywhere. I got the police department application from an Irish detective almost 12 years ago, and the rest is history. It was actually a good choice. They've been good to me."

Describe your September 11 experience
"I was just on my way to work. I was listening to Imus in the Morning. They said that a plane hit one of the towers; Warner Wolf, one of their reporters, was watching it take place from his apartment.

"When I got into work the second plane had hit, and then we had heavy mobilizations. I went down to Manhattan later on that day, it was just incredible. It reminded me of a war zone. It was ash and soot and you couldn't see in front of you. I just wanted to do whatever I could to help."

What have you been doing since the attacks?
"I spent the two weeks following the 11th working at ground zero and the frozen area. We had to maintain that area, checking IDs, making sure the workers got through, and making sure there was no looting. And I spent my time on the backup brigade when I got the chance.

"The whole experience was extremely draining and emotional. I knew a lot of people who died."

How does it feel being a member of the NYPD?
"I think the NYPD has handled themselves very well. I'm very, very proud to be a member of the department, and happy that I could play a part in helping out and getting the city back going again. I'm really happy doing this job. I can't think of anything else that would be better."

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