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South Florida woman kept the letters children wrote to 9/11 first responders for 20 years



South Florida – Local woman who was the first responder after 9/11 recalls letters of support around the country. They will now live on at the 9/11 museum in New York City.

Alison Thompson ran toward the towers, in the aftermath of the attacks. “I grabbed my rollerblades and my first-aid kit and raced out the door,” she said.

She watched as a tower fell, as she got closer. “I looked up and the World Trade Center was coming down, and I just started running,” she said.

A former paramedic, Thompson, ended up volunteering on the ground for nine months. She would wash the soot-filled faces and eyes of firefighters. Soon, letters from children to first responders across the country poured into the washing stations. ”Someone told me when the plane hit there was no pain and everyone was instantly carried up to heaven,” she said.

The words were adorned by firefighters and first responders, offering a sense of comfort in chaos. “This is a very young child (saying) ‘I know how you feel, my grandma died in the building too,’” one letter said.

Some pages were filled with grief-stricken children. “My dad was a firefighter he was in the tower one when it collapsed,” another letter read. The colorful letters are still in pristine condition. She’s kept them all these years and they will now live on at the 9/11 museum in New York City.

“I think it’s special and children should know they can make a difference,” she said.

According to Thompson, the children’s words are historical and should be remembered as something good in the days after.

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