As the 18th anniversary of 9/11 inches closer and closer, we often take a step back from our daily activities and schedule and reflect upon the tragedy. Often, we will recognize the unsung heroes who gave their lives to save others. Actor Steve Buscemi is one of those heroes who didn’t help for the recognition, but because he swore an oath to a brotherhood.
Buscemi, who is best known for his various roles in television and movies, took the FDNY civil service test and passed with flying colors. For the next four years, Buscemi honorably served FDNY’s busiest, Engine Co. 55 in Manhattan’s Little Italy.
He decided to switch career paths and went on with his acting career, which was rather successful. But when the World Trade Center was attacked by terrorist on September 11, 2001, he didn’t hesitate to come back to his old stomping grounds and lend a hand.
For the next 12 hours, Buscemi helped clear through rubble as he and the rest of the city’s firefighter looked for survivors. He didn’t want pictures taken of him. He just wanted to lend a hand and help those in need.
The Brotherhood of Fire Facebook page took an opportunity in 2013 to recognize the firefighter turned actor’s kind gesture, which was the first time anyone even knew about it.
“Do you recognise this man? Do you know his name? Lots of people know he’s an actor, and that his name is Steve Buscemi. What very few people realise is that he was once one of New York’s Bravest.
“In 1976 Steve Buscemi took the FDNY civil service test when he was just 18 years old. In 1980 Steve Buscemi became a New York City Firefighters. For four years, Buscemi served on one of FDNY’s busiest, Engine Co. 55 in Manhattan’s Little Italy. He later left the fire service to become a successful actor, writer and director.
“After 9/11/2001… Brother Buscemi returned to FDNY Engine 55.
“On September 12, 2001 and for several days following Brother Steve worked 12-hour shifts alongside other firefighters digging and sifting through the rubble from the World Trade Center looking for survivors.
“Very few photographs and no interviews exist because he declined them. He wasn’t there for the publicity,” the Brotherhood of Fire wrote.
Even now, after leaving the service in the mid-1980s, Buscemi has been an advocate for firefighters, Business Insider reported.
Buscemi explained how firefighters may need help but are too proud to ask for it. “Firefighters are great at helping others, they’re great at helping each other. But they’re not always—they don’t always know that they, themselves, are in need. Their first reaction would be: ‘Oh, the next guy has it worse, you know?'”