NY Daily News 
Thursday, Sept 10th, 2009
Eight years ago, in one of our nation’s darkest hours, ironworker Joe Picurro turned off the TV, jumped in his car and rushed from his home in Toms River, N.J., to the smoke-filled devastation of lower Manhattan.
“I knew right away they’d need ironworkers to cut through those collapsed beams,” he recalled.
Picurro joined thousands of hardhats who showed up at Ground Zero that first night. They helped retrieve bodies, battle flames and clear debris.
Along with the cops, firefighters and other emergency responders, they were lauded as heroes then. Their selfless actions gave us solace and hope amid all that grief.
They did not know then about the toxic soup of chemicals in the dust and in the air. Federal and city health officials downplayed any danger at the time. They even dared tell the public the air was safe to breathe.