East Texan Recalls Time Spent In New York Following 9-11

In the days and months after September 11, 2001, thousands of people from all over the country traveled to New York.  They went there to offer help in anyway they could.

A group of East Texans, trained in grief counseling, were some of those who made the trip.  It was six months after the World Trade Center towers had collapsed.  Much of the debris had been cleared, the city was doing it's best to get back to normal.

But thousands of emergency personnel working that day were left to deal with the tragedy.  That's when folks like Terry Morrow got the call to help.

"We went to the Chief and said 'Chief we'd like to go' he said sure and he emailed the Tyler City Manager and he said, absolutely."

Morrow, fellow Tyler Police officers James Russworm and Chuck Tompkins along with Tyler schools counselor Kathlene Duff, all made the trip to New York.

Part of the Critical Incident Stress Management Team of East Texas, they were there to help those who had spent the past months helping others.

"Some people were reluctant at first but as we got into it as more and more people would talk," said Morrow.

For many it was the first time they had talked about what they had been through.  Morrow says one group in particular helped him understand how valuable his job was.

"We had a hard time getting them to talk, they didn't trust anybody, finally they did and when they opened up they talked a lot and this one guy when we finally finished he hugged me with tears in his eyes and said thank you so much for coming from Texas, it was a special moment."

It's a moment Morrow says he will never forget and a week he knows will stay with him forever.

"I'm really glad that I went, I feel that we were some benefit to those people," he said  "I know we were (a benefit) because you could look into people's eyes and tell."

Morrow and the team were in New York for six days.  They were able to work with about 50 New York police officers during that time.

Chris Gibson, reporting