On Sept. 11, 22 years ago, an attack on the World Trade Center would rock the entire nation. The following week, people of all creeds, races and backgrounds would come together with American flags flying high on seemingly every block.

In Dan Rowan’s room sit several mementos from his time as a New York firefighter. He was one of many who responded to the scene after the World Trade Center was attacked.

“There are times when I will break down a little bit,” Dan Rowan shared. “Because I live it everyday. 9/11 for me, just isn’t one day. I can see a clock at 3:43 in the afternoon and it reminds me of 9/11.”

Rowan lost ten members of his fire crew that day.

“I stayed there for seven to three days. Never left. We were just looking for anyone,” Rowan remembered. “And then later on recovery and recovery was lousy. So I stayed there then he ordered me home. I went home for less than 24 hours to see my wife and kids, made the U-turn and stayed for another three more days.”

For Rowan, his job picking up the pieces has never ended. He now works to help others across the country dealing with loss. His spirit of giving was ignited with the generosity he saw shortly after 9/11.

“I actually had a homeless guy which always drove me crazy,” Rowan said. “He gave me $1.22. Turned my whole life around. He couldn’t give me anything else. That’s all he had in his pocket was $1.22. From that point on, oh, I’ve got changed.”

From speeches to visiting memorials in solidarity for his fellow firefighters, Rowan has since used the inspiration and become a true giver himself.