Former NYPD detectives remember their 9/11 experience - WRBL

Former NYPD detectives remember their 9/11 experience

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A lot has changed since Sept. 11, 2001, but for a pair of Triangle business owners, that day feels like yesterday.

Jon and Darcel Cumbo own and operate a preschool in Holly Springs, but the husband and wife's roots are from hundreds of miles away.

"I worked in every ghetto in New York City, every tough neighborhood," said Jon. 

Jon and Darcel are retired New York City Police Detectives. 

"At the time of 9/11, I was assigned to the Police Commissioner's security detail," Jon said.

On that fateful morning, Jon was on his way to work when the first plane hit. 

"The building had come down by the time I got there. That was one. I went over to the site and joined my guys," he said. "A little while later the second tower came down." 

Time stood still. Minutes felt like hours, days like weeks. 

"I spent a lot of my time at the landfills just sifting through bones, it was terrible," said Darcel. 

In 2006, the couple moved to North Carolina and opened The Learning Experience.

In their office, the memories of a past life hang on the walls, never forgetting the friends they lost. 

"A lot of guys, a lot of guys, a lot of good guys," said Jon. 

12 years later.

A new state. A new job. A new life.  

"The things that are taking place, it's nice, it's beautiful, but I could always see those towers. I close my eyes and I see those towers," Jon said. 

Jon and Darcel say every 9/11 is tough, but they push through it.

They say their business and the community around them helps them move on.

Phil Sanchez

Phil anchors WNCN Today weekday mornings starting at 5! In his “Phil Fills In” series, he highlights interesting and entertaining careers by giving them a try. If you’d like Phil to fill in for you, contact him!


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