This week we take time to remember the events that took place on September 11, 2001. We all remember exactly where we were, what we were doing at the time, and trying to understand what was going on. My take on this is going to be way different than many others who write fire service related blogs.
I am 24 years old. This means I was 11 years old, sitting in my 6th grade classroom on September 11th, 2001. We went to recess, and we could tell something was going on with the teachers talking to each other, but we had no clue that a world changing event had just taken place. We played at recess like all kids do, and when we went inside we could still tell something had happened. I had figured it was something local or that someone had a family emergency. Later that day I found out what had taken place earlier in the day. I wasn’t sure what to really think, I was 11 years old. I still don’t know what i was really feeling that day. I recall feeling upset, after finding out more and watching the news, and thinking about the fact that some group of people just invaded our great country. Seeing the events recalled on every news channel the next few weeks was depressing. Thinking about all the families that were going to be changed forever. Hoping people got the chance to say goodbye to their families. Thinking of all the kids that would never see their parents again, and being thankful that I still had mine. A lot of mixed emotions that an 11 year old boy didn’t really understand. I had no clue that all these events would mean so much down the road.
I remember that my grandparents had left for a vacation to Ireland either the day before or that day(these facts I seem to have forgotten over the years). I remember my mom waiting to hear from them to make sure they were okay. I remember my mom and I going to get the cars filled up with gas and waiting in lines that were down the road. I remember going to get grandma’s car and dad’s car and filling them up to, for what reason, I still don’t know, but for some reason mom felt this is what we needed to do. It felt like the whole world was coming to an end. Seeing the recaps on every news channel and seeing the same video footage over and over again. Still not knowing what to think. Getting the call from grandma saying they made it to Ireland, but unsure if they were even going to be able to get back home at this point, was a huge relief.
Fast Forward… I graduated high school in 2008. I worked construction that summer. I decided to go to college for Construction Management, and after a quarter in college I decided college wasn’t for me. I had to decided what I wanted to do with my life. Emergency Services had always appealed to me. I decided to enroll in my EMT-Basic class in 2009. I got hired on my department in May of 2009. Then went right into fire academy later that summer. I learned very quick how close of a Brotherhood there was. This is a special part of the fire service and one some don’t understand and value. There are few occupations that are as tight knit and family based and oriented as this. It doesn’t matter where you’re from or where you go, there are always fellow Brother’s and Sister’s there to welcome you. THAT’S PRETTY COOL!!!!
“Never forget”, two words that many throw around, but two words that should be spoken often and have meaning. I don’t think we should ever forget the fallen. I think we should honor them, they have paid the ultimate sacrifice and served their communities. That’s what we do, we love helping people and are willing to give everything for people we have never met. These Hero’s should be honored and “Never Forgotten”. 343 firefighters were at work, got the call, and responded to help people and these 343 didn’t get to go home. That needs to be remembered. Every year many departments have some type of memorial. The one department I worked for was even lucky enough to get a piece of steel from one of the towers and built a memorial to take to community events and have in house. That memorial really makes things real. If you’re going to say “Never Forget”, mean it and share it with someone.
This year, I am Remembering Fallen Brothers by participating in my first 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb. The event is being held in Columbus, OH at the Columbus Crew Stadium. http://columbusstairclimb.weebly.com/ . We have 5 climbing for the first time from my department. I look forward to sharing this day with my Brother’s and Sister. I also look forward to climbing with others from across this great state. This is one of many events that supports the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and I can’t wait to participate!
I will always remember that day. I will share this with my kids, and make sure they understand what the effects were from the events and why it is important to remember. I hope everyone who reads this will take a minute and remember the Fallen firefighters of that day sometime during this week. Post something you remember of that day or the feelings you had that day. That day changed our country. Let us not forget what happened that day. Let us honor the Fallen and keep doing our jobs.
I will be posting a follow up after the Memorial Climb later this week. If you post a memorial pic or article, Tag me in it so I can see it! Lets Blow up the “news feeds” and “Twitter Feeds” this week, people to it for celebrities, Lets do it for the Real HEROS!
The Featured Image is of truck parts from 9/11/2001. These are in FDNY Engine 7, Ladder 1, and Battalion 1’s house. I took this pic on a trip in 2010. Both this house and “Ten House” I was welcomed in to visit and they both have a memorial in house.