In honor of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund signing ceremony on Monday, actress Kristen Johnston has shared a touching story — about her encounter with “dust-covered firemen” taking a break from their Ground Zero rescue efforts a a few days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Johnston, whose sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun had just finished its six-season run that May, was approached by one of the firemen for a special reason. That very day he and his colleagues had tried to “distract each other from the nightmare” by discussing a beloved TV show: 3rd Rock. He thanked Johnston, who won two Emmys playing extraterrestrial Sally Solomon, for “helping him laugh during the worst weeks of his life.”
Distract each other from the nightmare by talking about their favorite 3rd Rock episodes. He thanked me for helping him laugh during the worst weeks of his life. I started crying, it was definitely one of the most unforgettable moments of my life. I never told anyone before.— kristen johnston (@thekjohnston) July 29, 2019
The anecdote — which Johnston, who currently stars on CBS’s Mom, says she’s never shared before — had fans in tears.
Many people like yourselves don't realize what you do for people. To make them laugh even on their worst day is a real gift.— Frank Aiello (@faesq3639) July 29, 2019
You were of service. Wear that proudly.— Quinn Cummings (@quinncy) July 29, 2019
Huge lump in my throat right now. Thanks for sharing— Roberta 🐥🌴💙🏄🏽♀️ (@RobertaByTheSea) July 29, 2019
Divine intervention. Talk about being in the right place at the right time. What a gift that moment was. For all of you. 💙— Ali Konigs (@AliKonigs) July 29, 2019
I’ve thought of it so many times since. It was a definite gift.— kristen johnston (@thekjohnston) July 29, 2019
Many also shared their own 9/11 experiences.
Me too— kristen johnston (@thekjohnston) July 29, 2019
There’s one 9/11 story Johnston isn’t moved by, however. The 51-year-old star shared her story after calling out President Donald Trump. During the signing ceremony, he told a crowd of Ground Zero first responders that he was “down there with you,” though he clarified, “I’m not considering myself a first responder.”
Trump’s claims to have “helped” clear rubble at Ground Zero have long been doubted, and his latest comments were slammed as opportunistic. Johnston reacted to the president’s remarks by referencing an interview in which Trump confirmed that post-9/11, the Trump Building had become the “tallest” structure in downtown Manhattan.
I was in NYC on 9/11. He was calling in to TV shows, bragging that now he had the tallest building in downtown Manhattan. I’ll never forget it. https://t.co/AEwQyftRYW— kristen johnston (@thekjohnston) July 29, 2019
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