Twins who lost dad on 9/11 pay it forward by helping others

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Twin boys whose father was killed in the 9/11 attacks have been paying it forward - one foot at a time.

Mike and Dan Friedman were just 11 when they lost their dad on 9/11, but they are fulfilling his legacy with a tall order.

Their dad had just taken a new job on the 92nd floor of the North Tower.

"I really did think after he didn't come home the first two nights, he was staying in a hotel probably cleaning himself up and he'll be back," Dan said.

"It was such a tough and tragic heartbreaking realization," Mike said.

Their dad, their hero, their first coach would never walk through the door again, but somehow his sons are still filling his shoes.

"We were huddled around the dinner table Mike and I working in corporate jobs for several years after college, we realized neither of us could make a tangible impact with what we're doing, we weren't able to give back to the causes that meant so much to us, and we weren't able to pay it forward to thank those who helped us so much in the aftermath of 9/11, and so we decided right then to start our business," Dan said.

They began making something important, something which carried meaning, they started sewing socks.

Why socks you may wonder? Well it was socks that propped them up in the dismal days after the attacks.

"All the credit for what we did goes to our mom, we decided we were going to go down to Manhattan to give out supplies to first responders, there were so many things being requested at the time -- water, food -- one of those supplies was clean and dry socks and so we would give them out to firehouses, hospital workers, socks always represented hope for our family," Dan said.

It was a tall order, but the brothers succeeded fitting men of all sizes with socks that fit.

"We wanted to solve that problem to make sure that every man can be fit to stand tall," Mike said.

If you're interested in supporting U.S. emergency personnel who have been injured, visit the FealGood Foundation's website.

To support families who have been affected by terrorism, military conflict or mass violence, you can donate to Tuesday's Children.

CLICK HERE for more Eyewitness News reflections, photos and stories marking the anniversary of 9/11

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