Today, Americans all across the nation and the world pause to reflect on the events that took place 11 years ago.  It is a time in our nation’s history that changed the course of our nation forever.  It was a time when strangers helped strangers, and everyday people performed heroic acts of valor, honor and courage.  It was a day when the heroes ran toward the danger, like any other day, not knowing it would be their last.  It was a day where some gave all, and all gave some.  It was a day that brought our nation to its knees…not just in awe, but in prayer.  People who called themselves Christians, but who had been walking without God, came back to Him.  People who never knew Jesus personally called out to Him and believed.  People all across the world watched in awe.  And prayed.  Some in private, some in public.  It was a time when prayer in schools and in any public forum was again accepted all across our nation…and more than not, welcomed.  It was a day that brought our nation together, with resolve and passion to seek God and to seek justice.

 

It was a day that we will Never Forget.  What do the words “Never Forget” mean to you?  In the words of a friend and fellow firefighter, I couldn’t have said it any better than he did this morning:  “What ‘NEVER FORGETTING’ means to me!  I am humbled and honored to serve with incredible men and women willing to risk their lives WHENEVER called upon.  To our 343 brothers and sisters lost eleven years ago in New York, rest easy, we will take it from here with HONOR and PRIDE!”
It was a day I remember vividly.  I was working a 12 hour dispatch shift, and we watched as the news broke in with live video from the World Trade Center following the first attack.  We watched live as the second plane hit the second tower.  We watched live as people jumped from the towers, hundreds of floors above the ground, to escape the flames.  We watched as the news reports came in from Washington that a third plane had hit the Pentagon.  We watched as news reports came in from Pennsylvania that a fourth plane had crashed in a field, learning as the day went on that everyday citizens on that plane became heroes by preventing further death on the ground at that plane’s intended target.
We sat in disbelief.  In shock.  In awe.  In fear.  In anger.  In grief.  As we watched the towers collapse, we knew instantly that thousands had just perished…that the loss of life in the first responder family would be catastrophic.  We knew the moment the second tower was hit, that we were at war.  That day at dispatch has been, to date, the slowest day ever.  I don’t know the volume of calls we handled that day, but it paled in comparison to the normal call volume.  It was eerily quiet in that little room…all day.  It was quiet at the 911 center that day, because like millions of Americans all across the country, the people we serve were all glued to their televisions.  No one was out doing what they normally do on a Tuesday, unless you had to be working.  Many of us cried, some of us had to walk away to cry alone.  It was a defining moment…one I will never forget.  I remember coming home that night mentally and emotionally exhausted.  I came home to your mom and SD, and wept as I picked little SD up.  Only two years old at the time, I was at a loss for what the future held for you.  For how to protect you from this new evil in our world.  I’m saddened that you, my dear children, will never know a pre-9/11 America.  As you grow, you’ll only know the new “normal”, and that just seems wrong.
To all those servants who gave their all that day, and to the ones who were lost in the aftermath due to the emotional and psychological pain and trauma they endured in the months that followed, we honor you by remembering…and by not being paralyzed by our fear.  We honor you by living out our lives in service to our communities across this world.  I am honored to be a part of the EMS & Fire family.  It’s an honor so few are given…and an honor I do not take lightly.  To be entrusted by strangers with their life and all they have is more than I can fathom some days.  I am NOT a hero, and I am not comfortable being called one.  But I work alongside a crew of heroes.  Everyday citizens serving our community in the little things…and sometimes the big.  I am closer to my men than some of my family, and the bond we share is one only known to those who entrust their lives to one another day after day.
For those of us who know Jesus as our Lord, we honor you, oh Lord, by remembering the sacrifice you made for us on the cross.  We honor you in our humble service to our fellow man.  And we honor you by living out our lives in a way that reflects YOU alive in us.  We lift the families of those lost on this day eleven years ago to you and beseech you, oh Lord, to show them the love shown to us in Psalms 36…to provide them “refuge in the shadow of your wings.”  Give them a peace like no other…a peace only found in you, oh God.  Calm their hearts and minds, Father, and surround them in your grace, mercy and love.  Lord, help them in their search for answers, and walk alongside them as their hearts cry out.  Father, may YOUR will be done, and may you use all that we face to bring us closer to you.  For your glory.  Amen
Love,
Dad
Jesus will wipe every tear from our eyes. - Revelation 21:4   Never Forget

Never Forget

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