Today we mark the anniversary of the tragic events of September 11th, 2001. All across the country and in fact the world, people are taking a moment to reflect on that terrible day and remember all those that were lost. And they do so while going about their normal daily routine, going to work or going to school, much like those who lost their lives on that day.
It is true that with each passing year, the memory of that day does get a little dimmer. Certainly, the raw emotion that we all felt on that morning has long since passed. The site of the former World Trade Center is now almost completely rebuilt with the Freedom Tower rising high into the sky, a monument of sorts to the perseverance of the nation. Osama Bin Laden is dead and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are winding down and are troops are coming home.
However, it’s important that we keep in our collective conscience what happened on that day. It’s important to remember the hundreds of firefighters, police officers and first responders who gave up their lives to save others. It’s important to remember the civilian heroes, those who would not abandon their fellow co-workers, and the passengers who fought to bring down their airplane before it was crashed into the Capitol.
And we should never forget how united we were as Americans in the days following the attacks. With great tragedy came a tremendous outpouring of patriotism and basic human kindness.
And as a firefighter, I am especially mindful of my fellow brothers who lost their lives and their familes who continue to mourn. For firefighters, today will always be a difficult day. But we are blessed because we are called to do a job and blessed by God with a love for the job. As I have often said, it is the best job in the world.
So as we mark the events of 9/11/01, let’s be sure we not only remember those who were lost, but that we honor those who were lost. We can do this by saying a prayer, attending a memorial service or just taking a moment or two out of our busy days to reflect. Because as Americans, we must never forget.