I finally had the opportunity to visit Ground Zero in New York in 2011. For many firefighters, including the retired members like myself, such a visit is our own “pilgrimage to Mecca” -- forgive the ironic metaphor -- to show respect for the fallen. I was as surprised as my grown son who was with me was when I was unexpectedly moved to tears at one point viewing a display case showing the hundreds of patches from Police and Fire units from around the world. It epitomized and drove home the sense of brotherhood and family that first responders share, and how the survivors continue to honor their memory and ultimate sacrifice.
Each year I share a link to a 9/11 memorial site that contains a moving video, “Remember the Blood of Heroes”, offering a powerful visual and audio reminder to all of us of how we felt that day. It begins with a series of applicable quotes that lead to a moving and powerful payoff, one that I believe many Americans need to revisit from time to time.
For me, every day after September 11, 2001 has become September 12th. I hope that instead of allowing the date to diminish in importance, dissolve through historical revisions, or depreciate in patriotic value, that we will continue to honor those who responded and those who perished during this attack on America and modern civilization as we know it.
Please view the video, and share the link with others as well.