9/11 Rescuer Looks Back 5 Years later

Isaac Ho'opi'i
Isaac Ho'opi'i
Pentagon 9/11/01
Pentagon 9/11/01
Pentagon 9/11/06
Pentagon 9/11/06

(KHNL) - While 9/11 is a time to remember the thousands of victims, it is also a time to honor the countless number of heroes.

One of those heroes is from Hawaii.

Isaac Hoopii says the memory of that day will last forever.

Even though it's been five years, it's like he can still smell the smoke at the Pentagon.

September 11, 2001.

Images we look back on in shock.

Images Isaac Hoopii relives every day.

"It's still gonna be with me for the rest of my life," Hoopii told us by phone from Washington, D.C. "Seems like it just happened yesterday, because I can pretty much remember some of the things that occurred and happened."

The devastation from the plane crash.

The burning building.

People screaming for help.

Hoopii works for the Pentagon police.

That day, he pulled 17 people from the burning rubble.

He eventually got to meet some of them on the Today show.

Hoopii says the act of heroism was nothing more than a lesson he learned growing up on the Waianae coast.

"It doesn't matter what race you are, people are people," he said.

And now, five years later, Hoopii says he's learned another important lesson from that tragic day.

"Life is too short enjoy it while you can, I usually don't take things for granted now, take things one day at a time," he told us.

Hoopii says his family, children, and music get him through the day.

He still works on the K-9 patrol at the Pentagon, and still gets thanked for his work five years ago, but Hoopii says he doesn't need it.

"To tell you the truth, thanks is when I'm waking up in the morning, knowing that I'm still alive," he said.

Hoopii says many of his co-workers have moved on or retired.

But he enjoys his job, and feels it is an honor to protect and serve.