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Steve Buscemi Opens Up About His 9/11 PTSD After Volunteering As Firefighter In Aftermath Of Attacks

Many fans would be surprised to learn that in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks back in 2001, Hollywood star Steve Buscemi volunteered as a firefighter to help with recovery efforts.

With the 20th anniversary of these horrific attacks coming up tomorrow, Buscemi is opening up about the PTSD he suffered during his time volunteering.

Buscemi Opens Up About 9/11 PTSD 

Fox News [3] reported that before finding fame in Hollywood, Buscemi worked as a firefighter in the 1980s. Though his acting career was already in full swing in 2001, he dropped everything as soon as he heard about the attacks to return to his old firehouse in New York City and volunteer. 

Backstory: Never Forget: On 9/11 Actor Steve Buscemi Quietly Returned To His Job As FDNY Firefighter [4]

“I kept calling the fire house the day before and of course there was no answer. Because I knew that they would be there,” Buscemi said on the “WTF” podcast. [5] “And then I eventually learned that five of them were missing. One of them was a good friend of mine I used to work with.”

“I was driven to the site that day, walked around for hours and then found my company, found Engine 55 working there,” he added. “I asked if I could join them. I could tell they were a little suspicious at first, but I worked with them that day.”

Related: On 9/11, This Small Town Suddenly Welcomed 7500 Stranded Visitors [6]

Buscemi Has PTSD To This Day

Buscemi spent the next several days volunteering, and while he was lucky enough to suffer no long-term health effects from being at Ground Zero, he said that he suffers from PTSD to this day. 

“I haven’t experienced any health issues, and I get myself checked out, but definitely…. Post traumatic stress? Absolutely,” Buscemi confessed.

“I was only there for like five days, but when I stopped going and tried to just live my life again, it was really, really hard,” he added. “I was depressed, I was anxious, I couldn’t make a simple decision. All those things. It’s still with me. There are times when I talk about 9/11 and I’m right back there. I start to get choked up and I realize, ‘Ah, this is still a big part of me.’”

9/11 Anniversary May ‘Trigger’ Survivors

Buscemi concluded by warning listeners that the 20-year anniversary could be a “trigger” for those who survived 9/11, so people should be mindful about how they talk about and approach the day tomorrow. 

At a time when it seems like most Hollywood stars are as self-centered and vapid as humanly possible, it’s refreshing to see someone like Buscemi recall behaving so selflessly on 9/11.

Going into this solemn anniversary, we could all learn a lot from his story, and we could certainly use more celebrities in the world like him.