SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — On the day a memorial was dedicated in New York, a Sacramento firefighter remembered his part in the rescue efforts of the Sept. 11 attacks, and says they are days he will never forget.

“To see 110-story buildings, two of them, reduced to piles of rubble like they were, was hard to process,” said Sacramento Fire Department Battalion Chief Chris Costamagna.

He and his urban search and rescue team were one of the first teams to arrive at Ground Zero to help in the rescue and recovery efforts. Now, 12 years later, it’s a sight he can’t forget.

“When we walked up to the street corner at Church and Bessey, it was just breathtaking, for lack of a better term,” he said.

Inside the massive Sept. 11 memorial museum are thousands of artifacts that aren’t just from the World Trade Center buildings. They’re also personal from people killed on that day. But one of the largest exhibits is a massive firetruck crushed as the towers fell.

“That ladder truck was there, crushed,” he said. “We walked by it for 12 days. It was part of the landscape while we were there.”

The museums creators say the purpose of the museum is to bridge the past and future, but Costamagna says for those  who lost loved ones, or were there that day, visiting won’t be easy.

“I’m sure the sight and smell of that day comes back,” he said.

He says he hopes the museum helps people to never forget.

“Hopefully history doesn’t repeat itself, but that’s the lesson that comes out of a museum like that,” he said.



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