911: How Could We Not Invite Them?
A friend of mine recently posted that fire and police personnel are not invited to the 10th Anniversary 911 Memorial. That angers me to a point where I cannot put words to it and I am rarely at a shortage for words. This friend’s husband was one of the many who became sick after working at or near Ground Zero. The people who died on 911 were simply doing what we all do everyday, going to work. They had no clue what that day was going to bring. The lucky ones never knew what hit them and the unlucky ones?…..we are better off not knowing. If you have the chance read “Last Man Out” by John McLoughlin. He tells his story of surviving the fall of the towers. It details what the people who survived being buried under concrete endured. The book haunted me for days.
After the planes hit the towers fire and police personnel rushed to the scene answering their calling. They did not question anything. They simply entered into two burning buildings to help strangers. They did not give a damn what the beliefs were of the people they were trying to help. It is a pure calling to do those jobs. They run toward where others are fleeing. In the moment they act they are simply doing their job. It is hard to understand if you have not done it or lived with someone who has. I was a police officer for many years. I understand the concept of reacting without care to your own well-being. I do not compare myself to the heroes of 911 for a second or the military who fight for us. I simply can say I understand the calling. After 911 I was angry with myself for not being in a situation where I could help. Shortly afterwards I decided to pursue being a fireman but that is another story. The firemen and policemen (the suffix men implies women too) that responded that day were not better than us but they certainly had something in their make up that most do not have. The compassion to make wrong right is a trait they all have. To not invite them to the site is sad, embarrassing , and completely disgusting.
The death toll has not stopped rising from that fateful day in American history. Men and women climbed that pile and pulled rocks off by hand and handed them to the person next to them and the person next to them creating human chains of rubble movers. They took the word of the government that is was safe to work the pile without masks. They were just doing their job. Police and Fire personnel from all across the country came to that site to answer a call. They did not need to be asked to help. People that worked that site are sick, dyeing, or dead as a result of working that site. My friends husband is sick. When I was in the fire academy their was a recruit in my class that worked the morgue detail in the boroughs. He described body parts and other unfathomable images. He was changed forever. He too had a persistent cough. I love our country but sometimes I am sickened by what has been forgotten. I am sickened by the fact that some people are deaf to the fact that sometimes our leaders are self important and guided by the wrong things. They get concerned about reelection or trying to say the right thing to the right crowd and not stating their own opinion. I could be wrong but their will probably be movie and music stars at the WTC Memorial. Their will be politicians their posturing for personal gain. Their will be someone there from the media that will micro analyze President Obama and try to find a reason to tear him apart. I just do not understand. If they do not let the fire and police have the freedom to be at the memorial then something is very very wrong.