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PHOTO: Stony Brook Man Rides to Remember 9/11

Artie Turner spent several days at Ground Zero following the terrorist attacks as an SPCA officer.

Artie Turner, 57, a 33-year resident of Stony Brook, worked at Ground Zero for several days following the Sept. 11 attacks as an officer of Suffolk County's Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, where he worked with rescue animals in the search for victims. He compared the aftermath to what he imagined Europe must have looked like after World War II, and said the most emotional part of the experience was walking from his vehicle to Ground Zero and seeing thousands of people behind police barricades who came down to support workers in recovery efforts. "As we walked down to the site, what really touched me was all those people with signs cheering for us," Turner said. "We didn’t do anything really, we weren’t the real heroes. The outpouring of support that we got from people because we were in uniform was extremely emotional." This past August, Turner got on his motorcycle and rode with America's 9/11 Ride from Washington, D.C. to New York City, which honors those who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001 and in the aftermath. Turner's son, Robert, recently returned from a tour in Afghanistan with the 101st Airborne unit, and he continues to ride in the Patriot Guard, which welcomes soldiers home with a motorcycle escort at Long Island's Macarthur Airport.

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