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Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 Ten Years Later

10 years ago this morning I was getting ready for work. I was an aspiring firefighter but I worked for a construction supply company in Los Angeles. I had my morning routine down, shower, get dressed and watch the news for a little bit. I turned on NBC and saw that one of the twin towers was engulfed in flames. I sat, transfixed, until I saw the second plane go in. At that point I went in and woke up my wife. I went into work that morning. At work, everyone was gathered around the TV. After an hour or so the owner told us all to go home and to be with our families.

It's a difficult thing to try to put into writing how I exactly feel about that day, especially now, as a firefighter. I imagine that my feeling are similar to those of other firefighters.

In the fire service we now talk about remembering the 343 fireman that died that day. Most apparatus have either an FDNY sticker, remember 9/11 or 343 on it somewhere. Rightfully so since that was the single worst day in fire service history. But what about all the others that die? Recently a plaque was dedicated to the 55 members of the FDNY that have died due to World Trade Center related illnesses. More have died since the creation of the plaque. And what about the 937 other firefighters that have paid the ultimate price while serving the public since then?

I've decided to honor all of them in the same way. On this day I will lower the flag to half staff. I will wear a shroud on my badge. But more than anything else I will report to work and when the tones go off, I will answer the call, just as they did.

To my brothers and sisters that have gone on before me, I will carry on. To the public, when you need us, we will be there.

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