A date so significant in American history which also brings about much sadness.
Last night, I went to see World Trade Center. I had wanted to see the movie since I saw the previews of it. I was waiting to see it with a friend of mine...the only one who wanted to see the movie...but his schedule is so hectic that I just didn't want to wait any longer. And the weekend of 9/11/06...the fifth anniversary of such tragedy...seemed fitting. Many said that seeing recreations of that day was morbid and that they couldn't bring themselves to see a re-enactment. But to me...it's a matter of showing respect in a way. It's based on reality, true events. People died that day...going about their daily routine...dropping their kids off at daycare, making deliveries, going to work, sitting at their desks. It was a normal day...at least it was until 8:46am that day.
I was like most on the West Coast. Bleary-eyed, I turned on the tv right after waking up. It was my normal routine...wake up, turn on the tv and start getting ready for work. I stared at the tv wondering what movie I had flipped to, check the channel and realize that it's truly the news but what I was seeing was unreal. At the time, I still lived with my parents and I went upstairs to the kitchen where I found my father staring dumbfounded at the tv. I ask him what is going on and that's when the reality of everything truly sunk in. Planes flying into buildings, people jumping out, buildings collapsing, thousands dying. A war upon the nation. Something completely unthinkable...yet at that moment...that was what was happenning.
Five years ago, I worked for a life insurance firm. I lived in San Francisco...most of our clients did too. But we did have one client who lived in New York and the following day that client called to tell us that his two brother-in-laws died that day. They worked at the World Trade Center. Now our clients life revolved upon consoling a grief-stricken wife and her family. Our sadness was profound. But I was lucky...the events of that day didn't hurt me...or anyone I knew. BUt I can't help but think of the enormity of that day.
Now, five years later...I work for a fire department. It's a job I enjoy despite the gripping of lazy, selfish, spoiled firemen. Throughout my days, I see these men, many who I consider big brothers and many who wouldn't hesitate to help me if I needed it. Why? Because that's who they are. They are firemen...they help those who need it and in times of emergency and disaster are amazingly selfless. One day, I realized that a few of the firemen were wearing similar silver engraved bracelets and I asked what the significance was. I was told that they were bracelets of remembrance for 9/11...they were engraved with the names of their firefighter friends who died that day. It truly is a day that Americans will never forget and these firefighters will not allow themselves to.
Firefighters are selfless. They are the *boys in blue* that everyone wants to see... and they went to Ground Zero from everywhere...whether it was called upon or not. They either went on their own accord or were part of a Task Force sent to try and find survivors and recover victims. An awful job if you think about it. We send them to a battle zone, with limited knowledge and ask them to basically perform miracles. Some of the guys in my department were sent and I always wonder. How they could have gone to Ground Zero, seen such massive destruction and mortality up close and first-hand and come back to perform their normal duties seemingly unaffected. These guys that I joke around with and give a hard time too. They are America's heros. All Firefighters are...but more so are the 343 firefighters who gave their lives that day doing their job. Those who answered a call, saw the plane in the building and still went inside because helping people was their job...no questions about it.
In remembrance of the 2, 973 people who died including the 343 New York City firefighters, I write this because it's a day to remember...not a day to forget.