Many heroes arose from the tragic events on September 11th, 2001. Civilians, military, and first responders alike stepped up to help in the aftermath of the devastating attacks.
Some even gave their lives in order to save the occupants inside the towers.
Special Agent Leonard W. Hatton was in the New York Division of the FBI. On September 11, 2001 he was on his way into the office when he saw the World Trade Center on fire.
Instead of heading into work like he was supposed to, he headed straight towards the North Tower. Thinking quickly, he climbed onto the roof of the nearby Marriot Hotel and from there observed the second airplane hit the South Tower.
He took the opportunity to relay reports of what was happening to the New York Field office of the FBI, providing critical information that was vital to rescue operations.
Helping First Responders
Hatton went to assist New York Firefighters in evacuating World Trade Center occupants as debris began to pummel the streets.
With utter disregard for his own safety in the midst of debris, soot and smoke, Hatton got to work. According to FBI Director Robert S. Mueller in a speech, "One man in the building told us that he was guided out by a person who identified himself as a Special Agent of the FBI."
He continued saying, "When they were outside in the clear, he was surprised to see the Agent turning back around. 'Where are you going?' he asked. 'Back into the building' came the Agent's response. That Special Agent, without a doubt, was Lenny Hatton."
Special Agent Hatton was inside the building when it collapsed, trying to save as many as he could.
Heroes like Hatton made all the difference for so many that day, and they will not be forgotten.