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A ring. A watch. Recovering loved ones' items at Ground Zero was important to DH Griffin Jr.

NC's DH Griffin Jr. became the lead contractor for removal and clean-up at Ground Zero.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — 22 years later, there are families who are holding a ring or maybe a watch that belonged to their loved one. The item was recovered at the 9/11 site.  A first, the rubble was moved by hand using buckets. Then the big machines moved in. 

The man in charge of the clean-up, North Carolina's own DH Griffin Jr., saw Ground Zero as a place to serve the families who were grieving. 

"The thing I kept telling myself and the crew was let's use the same care, control, and courtesy of how we deal with this as if it was your mom your dad your brother. It was an honor to be there at a really tragic point and time in the history of America," said DH Griffin Jr. in an interview in 2021. 

The images from that day are still heartbreaking to see 22 years later.  In the middle of all of this sadness and fear, there were people who ran into help. From the first responders to the everyday folks, and of course, DH  Griffin Jr. As soon as the attacks happened,  he went to ground zero as a volunteer. 

Eventually, he was in charge of the clean-up and spent every day for nine months on site. His company was on-site for 19 months.

"It was an emotional roller coaster and a spiritual roller coaster. I think the first couple of months, looking back, it was just adrenaline. The project was going 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Even those first responders, police, and firefighters, no one had ever dealt with this kind of loss before. I had a fireman tell me one time, that a bad fire would be 5 people that passed, which is tragic,  but even firefighters haven't dealt with so much loss of life," said Griffin. 


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