Milo police chief recalls days following September 11th in NYC

MILO, Maine (WABI) - "I've wanted to be a police officer from the time I was three years old."

Milo Police Chief Damien Pickel says he knew he wanted to be a cop like his father because he wanted to help people.

"I saw him in his uniform, and I said this is what I'm going to do, and I just followed that."

Before he came to Milo, he was an NYPD Officer and was working on September 11, 2001 when the World Trade Center was hit by terrorist-piloted commercial airplanes. The memories of working in the city following the attack are ones still fresh in his mind all these years later.

"Everybody was affected by it. That's the big thing. It was everybody. It wasn't just me or 343 firemen or the 60 police officers or the eight EMS workers that were in the towers when it came down. It's just not about them. It's about everybody that was involved with it."

Recently, Chief Pickel turned to social media to reach out to others and remember those who were lost on September 11th."

"It gave me a chance to get out a lot of the stuff that had been sitting inside of me all these years because even though it's 18 years later, it's just like yesterday. I hope people remember all of the responders that were there. We've lost so many people since September 11th, 2001 to cancers and different things. Everybody that was involved, everybody made a difference. There was construction workers, there were union guys that were there volunteering that are sick now. They didn't have to be there, but they wanted to be there to help, and that's what September is all about, people getting together in saying we're going to help each other."

He says most importantly we need to honor those lost by living without fear and being kind to one another.

"Gone but not forgotten, and in their honor we can never forget, and by living our lives, we don't forget."

If you'd like to read more about the chief's time following September 11th, head to the Milo Police Department Facebook page.