On the 20th Anniversary, 69 News taking an in depth look back into the events of 9/11.

69 News reporter Ali Reid is in New York City. 

The list of names is long and mighty of those who put America first on September 11, 2001.

It was a worldwide effort and the impact of that tragic day 20 years ago is still being felt today.

The job, unfortunately, comes with sacrifice and great risk and the illnesses and the exposures that we get contribute to that.

Gary McCormick, a former resident of Bethlehem Township knows it all too well.

"The only thing he told me was, we are going in and get to a TV. That's when I saw the tower had been hit.

His son Ryan, a graduate of Freedom High School and Northampton Community College, was working as a paramedic when he got the call to head into the city.

He worked at ground zero, hoping to recover survivors.

In the months following, he helped plan to reopen the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island by training park rangers.

"It was shortly thereafter he was diagnosed with lymphoma and Hodgkin's. 

Doctors dealt with a cancer they had never seen before. He eventually went in to remission for some time, before coming back ten times worse.

"He had been fighting this thing for almost six years, that the doctors just kind of said you have to go home," continued McCormick.

Ryan was the kind of person you never forget, a force to be reckoned with. An Eagle Scout by 14, he joined the Civil Air Patrol in Whitehall and worked hand in hand with the Bethlehem Township EMS squad.

"He touched a lot of people. He did a lot in his short life, a lot," said McCormick. 

It's been thirteen years with no Ryan and his father said the pain will never go away., but time helps heal.

"We can talk about it," said McCormick. "We can talk about him, laugh at some of the crazy things he did."

Even when Ryan was sick and in a hospital bed, he still was doing his job as the Director of Emergency Management for St. Barnabas Healthcare System. His dedication was just another example of how much the men and women who responded that day, care.

DISCLAIMER FOR COMMENTS: The views expressed by public comments are not those of this company or its affiliated companies. Please note by clicking on "Post" you acknowledge that you have read the TERMS OF USE and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Your comments may be used on air. Be polite. Inappropriate posts or posts containing offsite links, images, GIFs, inappropriate language, or memes may be removed by the moderator. Job listings and similar posts are likely automated SPAM messages from Facebook and are not placed by WFMZ-TV.