On February 26th, 1993, in what was clearly the first attempt to crumble the World Trade Center towers, a group of terrorists, under the direct orders of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, detonated a 1,300 lb truck bomb in a parking garage below the towers. While the explosion failed to accomplish it’s mission, it caused massive destruction, opening up a 100ft wide hole through 4 levels of concrete. Six people were killed and over one thousand people were injured.
At the time of the attack, Brothers Before Others Founder/President Michael Burke was active duty NYPD and credited with being among the first to respond and the last to leave. Hear him talk about that day, his career and his work with BBO, as part of his interview with Law Enforcement Today’s John Jay Wiley:
When reached for comment, Michael said, “I am not a hero. I was just one of many that day who simply showed up and did our job, just as our guys did years later on 9/11. I would rather the focus be kept on the true heroes who continue to suffer from 9/11-related illnesses and the fact that they STILL have to fight for the Victims Compensation Fund”. As this article is being written, scores of first responders and their families are marching in Washington, led by 9/11 activist and first responder supporter Jon Stewart and John Feal, a demolition expert who was injured while working at Ground Zero.
While he has taken a lot of heat over the years for his satirical criticism of law enforcement, the members of Brothers Before Others can first-hand testify to the genuine concern Jon Stewart has for first responders. His involvement in the fight for the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, as well as his continued fight to fully fund the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund have both been well documented. Our members have been standing side by side with Jon as he has cried over memories of 9/11, the heroic acts of the first responders, including his close friend FDNY Firefighter Ray Pfiefer who later succumbed to 9/11-related cancer, and has quietly, and without fanfare, poured his heart and soul into supporting and honoring first responders and their families.
On this, the 26th anniversary of the 1993 WTC bombing, Michael is making a personal appeal. One of the more iconic photos taken that day involved Michael and a woman he had evacuated. The photo made an appearance in magazines, newspapers and even library books.
Michael is asking all those who read this article to share it in attempt to locate the woman in this photo. He would like to identify her and reconnect with her. If someone is able to locate or identify her, please contact Michael directly: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Article is Dedicated to the Memory of Those Killed on 2/26/93:
John DiGiovanni, age 45, Kerr Manufacturing Company; Dental Supply salesman. Visitor to the World Trade Center.
Robert Kirkpatrick, age 61, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; Senior Structural Maintenance Supervisor for the World Trade Center.
Steven A. Knapp, age 47, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; Chief Mechanical Supervisor for the World Trade Center.
William Macko, age 57, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; Assistant Chief Mechanical Supervisor for the World Trade Center.
Wilfredo Mercado, age 37, International Hilton Company; Purchasing Agent for Windows on the World.
Monica Rodriguez Smith, age 35, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; World Trade Center Maintenance / Mechanical Unit Secretary.