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Firefighters Plan Humanitarian Trip to Afghanistan

Aired December 18, 2001 - 15:29   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: We want to take our viewers now to New York City to listen to some special firefighters and police officers. They planned a program "ground zero to ground zero." They are at ground zero right now in New York City. They plan to travel to Afghanistan bringing aid and support. Let's listen in.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... extra special to me, and a lot of love going on over here, a lot of love.

REV. JOHN DELENDICK, CHAPLAIN, NEW YORK FIRE DEPARTMENT: Over the last three months all of us have witnessed a great deal of goodness that has been extended to this city. People from all over the country and people from all over the world have sent us food, socks, help, whatever has been needed. We, as a city, have always been generous to others. Now it is time to get back to that. Today we go to share this goodness with others to remind the people over there that we are with them, and are willing to give them and to share with them whatever they need. Thank you.

BATTALION CHIEF DONALD HAVOE, NEW YORK FIRE DEPARTMENT: Donald Havoe, battalion chief, special operations command. I'm honored to be part of this humanitarian airlift to Afghanistan. As I go over there, I will certainly be carrying the memories of my lost brothers in the World Trade Center on this trip. And, hopefully, we will see much good come from this journey that we are starting on.

JOSE GUERRA, NEW YORK POLICE DEPARTMENT: Police officer Jose Guerra for the Emergency Service Unit Squad No. 3.

I am honored and privileged to be asked to represent my department, as we show people of Afghanistan what the spirit of America is. We don't hold people over in Afghanistan responsible for what happened behind us. And I'm also extremely honored to show my appreciation and the appreciation of my unit and my department to the armed services that are over there continuing what started here.

LARRY CONNORS, NEW YORK FIRE DEPARTMENT: This trip is especially symbolic for me leaving from ground zero.

I am going to keep in mind from this point on until we land in Afghanistan the families of folks that were lost here. The Kanes, McAleese, my nephew, Kevin Colbert. And when I get over there, I am going to ask the commanders to name some of the sites, their forward bases, after those families, after their sons, after their daughters, as we once did when we were over in Vietnam.

I think that would be a touching memorial and would mean something to the soldiers.

DETECTIVE THOMAS MCDONALD, NEW YORK POLICE DEPARTMENT: I'm Detective Thomas McDonald from Emergency Service Squad No. 2.

I am just really excited about going over there and seeing the troops and telling them what a good job they are doing and how proud we are of them. And being a former serviceman myself and a veteran of Desert Storm, I understand what they are going through. And I'm sure it will mean as much to them as it means to us to see them to show them our appreciation, and also to help the people of Afghanistan in this -- during this time when they are suffering so much because of the actions of a small few.

And we can show them what a great country this is and how we can overlook the actions of a few and look out for their welfare. So I'm very exited about this and I feel honored.

Thanks.

KAGAN: We have been listening to members of the New York City Police Department and the fire department as they talk at ground zero. This is a group calling themselves Ground Zero to Ground Zero. Six members of the fire department and the police department will be heading to Afghanistan. They will go Bagram Air Force Base with a number of -- a lot of aid.

They are taking 35,000 pounds of cooking oil, rice, powdered milk and blankets all to the needy victims of Afghanistan. Their point, they say that they don't blame the people of Afghanistan for what happened at the World Trade Center. We will be following their actions as they go.

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