When Women You Should Know launched six years ago on September 7, 2011, we dedicated our first week of editorial stories to all of the women emergency services workers who responded to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 and in the days and months following. These women were largely overlooked or ignored by the media over the course of a decade, never having their stories told. We wanted to make sure at least some of them were. It was an opportunity for us to do our very small part in contributing to historic accuracy.

We share those first four dedicated posts today, as a way to, once again, express our sincere gratitude for the sacrifices made by so many over the last sixteen years.

Thousands of Women You Should Know

Women At Ground Zero CoverStory excerpt: We felt the best way to do that would be to honor and recognize all of the emergency services workers who responded to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center that day and in the days following. Within the context of the Women You Should Know world, we wanted to focus on the women. The only problem with this was that we didn’t know, for sure, if there were any women first responders. Yes, we agree, that it might seem like an odd question to ask, “were there even any women there?” But, as none of us could recall seeing any news coverage or pictures of women firefighters, police officers, EMTs, FBI agents, etc. connected to 9/11, we started doing some research. [Full story…]

WYSK Profile: Brenda Berkman [VIDEO]

Brenda Berkman_FDNY Dress UniformStory excerpt: Captain Berkman retired from the New York City Fire Department in 2006 after 25 years of service, which included her critical role as a first responder to the World Trade Center disaster site on September 11, 2001 and in the many months following.  She began her career in the fire service after winning the federal sex discrimination lawsuit she initiated that resulted in the hiring of New York City’s first women firefighters. [Full story…]

Imagine Being 1 Of Only 29 Women In A Workforce Of Over 10,000… Regina Wilson Lives This Reality Every Day

Regina Wilson CroppedStory excerpt: On September 11, 2001, Regina, the then 32 year old with only 3 years on the job with the FDNY, was called to the most inconceivable emergency of her new career. She, among countless others, was a 9/11 first responder, assisting in the search, rescue and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center site. Her firehouse – Engine 219 in Park Slope, Brooklyn – lost 7 members that day. Compounding her loss is the knowledge that on that morning, prior to the first plane hitting the North Tower, a fellow firefighter offered to trade assignments with her. He died later that day. [Full story…]

“We’re Not Leaving.” – NYPD Police Officer Carol Paukner, September 11, 2001

NYPD Officer Carol Paukner (left) on 9/11Story excerpt: For almost 10 years, NYPD Police Officer Carol Paukner worked around and inside the World Trade Center patrolling the NYC subway lines that were below the buildings on the concourse level. She knew the area well and a lot of the people who worked there. On the morning of September 11, 2001, Carol and her partner, Tracy Donahoo, a rookie at the time, were assigned to the Broadway/Nassau station one block from the World Trade Center when Carol received a call about “unknown conditions” at the Twin Towers. [Full story…]

Lead photo: “Tribute In Light 9/11/12” by and courtesy of Tal Kagan, ©Zestfullyclean