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‘It was like a war zone’: 9/11 first responder shares ongoing struggle with PTSD

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LOS ANGELES - Joe Thompson, a former NYPD detective who worked as a first responder during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, has struggled to move on from the terrible tragedy.

While he was on the scene within 30 minutes of the first tower collapsing, Thompson hasn’t watched any commemoration ceremonies since suffering extensive posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) since the day of the attacks.

Hours before two planes flew into the World Trade Center’s North and South Towers, Thompson remembers Sept. 11 as "any other." "It was a beautiful day, sunshine was out," he said. "I still remember driving down the street, my partner and I were actually enforcing a parking issue at a local location in my precinct that I was in when the radio.

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