9/11 speaker sparks emotion
By Kimberly A. Michalak
Five and a half years may have passed since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, but the emotions surrounding that day and the nine months following were alive and palpable at the Solvay Fire Department on Jan. 11 thanks to Mario Zorovic, a 21-year veteran of the New York Police Department, who was at Ground Zero on that fateful day.
Zorovic grew up in Queens and Brooklyn and eventually joined the NYPD. During his tenure with the department, he carried out a variety of dangerous and prestigious missions.
"His story is like an action movie," said Al Miles president of the Solvay-Geddes Rotary Club.
Zorovic served on presidential protection details; he was a sniper at the UN and once pulled a man back over the side of a building who would have fallen to his death. Zorovic's first terrorist attack experience was during the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
"After that attack fellow police officers said to each other, why didn't they just fly a plane into the building?" Zorovic said. "After that attack the NYPD kept on a high state of alert around the trade center. Special units and cars patrolled the area regularly, but we still could never have imagined the devastation of Sept. 11.
Four years after the first attack, Zorovic and five other officers captured two terrorists with ties to Hamas who were about to detonate explosive devices in the subway during rush hour.
For his participation in the capturing of terrorists, Zorovic was invited to the White House and visited the president in the Oval Office.
"It was a real honor to be invited to the White House, and I also received a special award for prevention of a terrorist attack from Early morning Sept. 11, 2001