Will Jimeno was a New York City Police officer and one of the heroic first responders that ran headfirst into the chaos of 9/11.
He was one of the earliest first responders on the scene following the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers. While attempting to help save lives, he was buried alive and trapped under the rubble for 13 hours. He was one of the last 3 survivors found before the search and rescue missions of that day became less about rescuing people and more about searching for closure.
Jimeno’s story has been brought to life in a variety of ways, perhaps most notably through this short film from our friends at Mossy Oak and additionally by a full length feature loaded with details about what went he went through in the heat of the moment that day as well as his path to recovering from physical injuries and mental anguish.
According to Will, the great outdoors have been a major part of his healing process and Mossy Oak is proud to provide support and share the story that Jimeno has to tell. It’s a story that we all need to hear, remember and draw courage from.
“During my recovery after 9/11, I went from a wheelchair to a walker to Canadian crutches and then to a cane. I still have to use a brace to walk, and I have a dropped foot.
But as I look back over our ordeal, I feel fortunate. I still can enjoy bowhunting deer and chasing turkeys. Today I hunt out of ground blinds a lot, but I hunt from a tree stand sometimes.”
Mossy Oak teamed up with Will to shine a spotlight on his powerful story:
Mossy Oak Capture Productions, in association with Sportsmen Organized for Law Enforcement (SOLE), is proud to present a very special film: the story of 9/11 survivor, Port Authority Police Officer and friend Will Jimeno.
The purpose of HONOR is to acknowledge the men and women who serve our great country and its people and tell their stories of heroism, bravery, and humility.
For the anniversary of the September 11 attacks, HONOR features Will Jimeno as he recounts his story from that day. He also shares how he became a friend of Mossy Oak.
Though Jimeno was able to survive that fateful day, those events would change his life would go on to include multiple surgeries, forced retirement, survivors guilt, depression, and learning to live with PTSD.
Overcoming his own struggle of living with PTSD inspired Jimeno to do more to help other people struggling with similar battles. He recently teamed up with renowned clinical psychologist Michael Moats to put together a book about his story and his journey to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the a day that changed not only his life, but changed the world.
The book is titled Sunrise Through The Darkness – A Survivors Account of Learning to Live Again Beyond 9/11.
In addition to the book he wrote to help people dealing with trauma related disorders, he also explored other life experiences through a different lens in a children’s book he wrote titled Immigrant, American, Survivor.
The bilingual book details his life from immigrating to the U.S. from Columbia to becoming a police officer to ultimately helping save lives on 9/11. The book’s goal is to help foster a sense of connection for child immigrants and teach American-born kids about their struggles. The book also gently introduces the events that unfolded on September 11th, 2001 in a way that kids can understand and it honors those we lost that day.
The book most importantly touches on the idea that anyone can be a hero though, and it includes inspirational quotes from Jimeno’s own mother that have helped shape his life.
“No matter how difficult life may get, you must never, ever give up. Or as she would say ‘Nunca te rindas!”