“Thousands running out, it takes a special individual to run in”: Murrells Inlet church remembers 9/11

News13 Digital First

MURRELLS INLET, SC (WBTW) – St. Michaels Church held a 9/11 Remembrance Service to honor and remember the thousands of lives that were lost 18 years ago.

September 11th is a tough and emotional day for many who lost loved ones eighteen years ago or have horrific memories and images of planes clashing into towers.

One attendee at the Remembrance Service Wednesday evening has a clear recollection of where and what he was doing on this day in 2001.

Gary McCormick received a call from his son on the day on 9/11 telling him to turn on the news and that he was going into the tower to help.

His son saw the first plane hit the tower and was one of the early first responders to arrive on what was the most horrific terrorist attack in history.

“We didn’t hear anything from him the rest of the day as we watched things unfold. Finally that evening he called us and he spent days looking for survivors but mostly finding just body parts,” father of a first responder Gary McCormick said.

McCormick believed his son had trained for this day as he was so motivated and began working as an EMT in high school, Eagle Scout, and civil air patrol.

McCormick lost his son recently to an illness and every year since the attack, September 11th reminds him of his son’s motivation, commitment, and sacrifice to his job and community.

“I mean when thousands of people were trying to get out of the building and these guys were running in that takes a special kind of individual,” McCormick said.

His son was a special kind of individual, honored and remembered at tonight’s service during a flag folding ceremony.

The flag folding ceremony presented the flag once placed on McCormick’s son’s casket and flown over Congress the day after he died.

Thomas Damore, a NYC first responder in the towers during the 9/11 attacks, was another first honoree recognized at tonight’s service.

A clear memory of the phone call informing Damore of the attack sits in the back of his mind.

“My mind just went into emergency mode to get down there and help as fast as I could. I had to get my guys together and get down there and try to find some survivors. Unfortunately, that was not the way it was going to be,” Damore said.

Thomas Damore now lives in Murrells Inlet and was recognized Wednesday evening alongside his 25-year-old helmet worn during the 9/11 attack.

Eighteen years later and counting, those who lost their lives will never be forgotten.

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