-- An artist has completed a colossal painting to honor the 343 firefighters and paramedics who lost their lives at Ground Zero, a feat five years in the making that was completed just days before the 14th anniversary of the the 9/11 attacks.
"I think being a firefighter is a very dangerous job," Yi Yang of Flushing, New York told ABC News today. "These people from 9/11 are heroes. All of them are great."
Yang, 58, said he came to the United States from China in 1995 where he soon made a living drawing caricatures in Central Park.
Yang said that following the 9/11 terror attacks, many people would show him photos of their loved ones who had died -- asking him to create a portrait.
In 2010, Yang said he saw a mural on the side of the Flushing firehouse that inspired him to paint a tribute of his own.
"I collected a lot of pictures from the Internet [of the victims]," Yang said. "I am an American citizen. I wanted to do something for Americans, for New York...I'm so, so grateful and I never want to leave."
"The picture came out very good," Yang said. "I used realism. I didn't want to make it look too perfect."
The painting is currently sitting in Yang's apartment.
He said he hopes it is featured either in a museum, or downtown near the firehouse where he was inspired.