Thursday, September 11, 2014

Thirteen Years Later

9/11. It’s been thirteen years since the Towers fell. My most vivid memory of that day isn’t of planes crashing or of buildings coming down. It’s of a single person. A firefighter. Tower 2 had just fallen. A reporter was on the streets blindly asking questions of anyone he saw. This firefighter was trudging towards the north tower, Tower 1, where smoke was still billowing into the autumn sky. It would later be learned that the rescue personnel inside had been ordered to evacuate but many had not heard the call. This ignorant reporter grabbed at this firefighter and asked him what he was doing. He nodded at Tower 1. “My brothers are in there.” That’s all he said. His face was so haunted. He walked on. Less than ten minutes later, at 10:28, Tower 1 came down. That’s what 9/11 will always be to me. A person’s sacrifice, not just for those he has sworn to protect, not just for his city, but for those that are closer to him than family. I ran fire and rescue early in my career. Your crew, the people on your squad or company, you didn’t leave them behind. I’ll never know that man’s name, I’ve never seen that clip of video on the countless hours that are replayed this time of year, but I will never forget him.

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