FDNY veteran, William “Billie” Eisengrien, now 48 and in his 27th year with the department, remembers the morning of September 11, 2001 like it happened yesterday.
On a bright and sunny day in New York City beneath blue skies, six of his friends and fellow firefighters were starting their regular shift at Brooklyn Rescue Company 2, where Eisengrein has worked for 18 years.
And then everything went haywire and the world turned upside down in a moment of madness.
His brother firefighters were called into action as reports of a disaster at the North Tower of the World Trade Center began to crackle across the radio. They did not come back from that call.
They all died, along with many more.
Eisengrein recalls that he received news about the first plane hitting the World Trade Center as he was relaxing at his girlfriend’s home, watching TV, and he watched in horror as a second plane struck the iconic building.
At that moment, Eisengrein strapped it on and climbed aboard his motorcycle bound for the Brooklyn firehouse.
“I saw the plane crash into the tower, and I said, ‘Alright, I have to go to work,’” he said. “I lost 100 friends that day.”