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9/11 Inspired Darien Teen to Become a Firefighter

DARIEN, Conn. – Andrew Roach was only 8 when America was attacked on Sept. 11, 2001, but he understood what had happened a lot better than many of his peers. His father, a captain with the Stamford Fire Department, responded to Ground Zero after the attacks.

"My dad went out and didn't get home until around 2 a.m. on 9/11. For a week after that, he ran the tool stand across the street from where the attacks took place. It was basically like a giant Home Depot, where people could get whatever tools they needed to help people get out," Roach said.

Roach lives in Darien and attends high school at t he Academy of Information Technology and Engineering in Stamford. He was attending Holmes Elementary School in Darien the day of the attacks, when his dad went off to help. He had friends in both towns whose parents lost their lives, and the memory of the attacks is part of what inspired him to become a firefighter himself.

"Sept. 11 was a big part of it. I've looked up to my dad more and more ever since then," he said. He will be joining the Round Hill Volunteer Fire Department in Greenwich next month.

Roach will attend multiple 9/11 ceremonies this weekend. He will go to two in Stamford, and on Sunday will go to the Mets game, where former Met Bobby Valentine will honor firefighters who answered the call after Sept. 11. Roach's dad will attend the ceremony. Valentine is now Stamford’s director of public safety.

Despite the wars, natural disasters and financial crises of the last 10 years, Roach is optimistic about the future. He knows that no attacks will take place this weekend, and believes the country will rise again.

"I think there's only room to improve," he said.

Do you know anybody who was inspired to become a firefighter or police officer after 9/11? Tell us in the comments below, on Facebook or on Twitter .

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