Posts Tagged ‘heroes’

September 11, 2001

Posted: September 11, 2013 in life
Tags: ,

NYFD Hero

I didn’t think I’d spend the morning in tears, but watching families relive the loss of a loved one made me an emotional mess. I saw a grown man sobbing. I saw kids reading their dad’s name, boasting about his heroism. I saw women who were pregnant when their heroic husband perished.

12 years ago today, America changed.

I remember the details of this day more than most normal 17 year old kids should. Freakishly, I’m a details person.

When I woke up that Tuesday, I remember watching the morning show and thinking it was really cool – it was National 911 day, which was honoring local firefighters, first responders and EMTs. Oddly enough, this would become the day when hundreds of people in this field would make the ultimate sacrifice.

Off to school I went, my mind mostly consumed with the upcoming football game with one of my school’s rivals, Kickapoo.

Nearing the end of my first class (Ms. Hanlen’s Stagecraft class but she was out that morning for some reason – I told you I was a details person!), an announcement was made for all teachers to turn on their classroom’s tv.

What we saw next, none of us will ever forget.

All we could see was smoke coming from the first tower. So, as we were all trying to figure out why a burning building 1200 miles away was supposed to be national news, the second plane flew into the second building. By the start of the next class, one of the towers had fallen.

Even for a details guy, the rest of the day was a blur.

September 11, 2001 was the day before my 18th birthday. The news was on TVs the entire day in school and I had this really weird feeling that this is the way our country reacted after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Lines at the gas station, longer lines at the local grocery and an eerie feeling that I’d be drafted by the Army by the end of the week.

I was going to be 18 after all.

As strange as my feelings were, I cannot fathom the thoughts or emotions of the families who lost loved ones.

Nearly 3000 people died that day.

To those who ran into the buildings to save people, to the people who fought back on Flight 93, to those who enlisted in the military to protect our country, to the NYPD, to those who were forced into becoming single parents that day – you are heroes.

All of you.

May God bless all of those effected and may we never forget what happened that day.

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I’m a huge history buff. So when my buddy Josh asked if I was interested in watching the DVD set of Band of Brothers, I immediately was stoked. So far we’ve watched the first 8 of the 10 DVDs in the series and I’m hooked. The series is done very well – directed by Tom Hanks and Steven Speilberg – and is extremely detailed. Also very graphic – but that’s war, right?

The best part of each episode is right at the start – it begins with interviews from the soldiers who were there. First hand accounts, memories and details from the very guys who were on the front lines. Each character in the film portrays an actual soldier who fought – so it’s amazing to see these guys recall their stories.

What really shook me to the core was seeing these heroes (I’m calling them heroes from now on, because they are) talk with precision about little things like freezing in Bastogne or jumping from planes in France. Then they would just stop and put their heads down. It’s hard to watch a hero get emotional.

These same heroes told stories of men in their hometowns who so badly wanted to join the military but couldn’t fight in the war for one reason or another. Several of them killed themselves because they weren’t able to fight for their country.

They killed themselves because they couldn’t fight in the war.


I could go on and on and on about this series, about these heroes and mostly about their bravery. What kills me is that our country really doesn’t seem to carry the pride it carried nearly 70 years ago. Sure, when 9-11 happened we had our generation’s heroes step forward and start fighting. But I don’t recall seeing any stories about people not being able to fight and being so angry that they couldn’t help that they took their own lives.

Which ultimately leads me to this – would you fight for your country? Would you give up all the comforts that these heroes fought so bravely for? Would you leave your family, friends, job, warm bed, tv, xbox, tivo, iphone, etc to fight for all those things?