Friday, August 26, 2011

As With That Day, This Makes No Sense, Either

First, my usual apologies - I've been on the road traveling and was unable to write. Also, there's been a relative shortage of thought-provoking, gritty topics, too. Oh, I could've written about Irene or the economy, however we're waiting to see how we fare with Irene, while the economy remains in the tank. These are a given. What was NOT a 'given', though, is the story that was sent to me by a beloved young lady that attends the University of Florida. I love this young lady to pieces and have known her since she was born, but we're about to embark on another few months when we will bicker....if only a little. Roll Tide - love ya', Steph! Anyway, she sent a link to a news story suggesting I might want to read, and use, the enclosed facts. I knew before I read it that it would be something that I would find unbelievable. It was...and is. I'm shocked and, quite honestly, cannot believe it has not been rectified. Sadly, I cannot believe it is even possible.
The story I am referring to was captioned, "9/11 First Responders To Be Excluded From 10th Anniversary Ceremony." Wait....WHAT? I had to read it and, before I got through the first paragraph, felt my blood pressure rising. The story said that, due to security and space issues, the first responders will not be invited to the ceremony. They will be invited to a private ceremony on a different date. Really? How nice. While honoring those that died on that tragic day, we'll make room for the families of the nearly 3,000 people that died, however the men and women that rushed into those buildings will not be able to attend. I am astounded that the city, most notably Mayor Bloomberg, cannot find a way to honor the lives that were lost, while at the same time honoring those that made certain the death toll would remain as low as possible. What if they had decided, on that late-summer day ten years ago, that there was no room for them at the Twin Towers? What if they had decided it would be best, as security was definitely an issue, that they should stay away? That would not happen, though, as they know it is part of the job.

Let me put this into perspective. Obviously, in the photo at the right, the towers have already collapsed. Not only did the FDNY & NYPD stay on the scene after this, searching, rescuing, and recovering bodies, they had been in those building prior to the collapse. While the upper floors were smoldering and burning, they rushed into the towers, ran up the stairs, and carried people out. They were there to make sure that everyone got out alive. They were there to provide a sense of safety and security while everyone around them ran, panic-stricken, from those buildings. These brave men and women had no way of knowing, though surely some of them had a fairly good idea, that this would be their last day on this earth...yet they kept moving. They continued to battle the looming collapse of these structures, making trip after trip, until the towers fell....on them. Take a good look at that picture and ask yourself, "Would I be able to rush in, in an attempt to save lives, while waiting for the concrete and steel to come down?" I'm not sure many of us would answer in the affirmative. Fortunately, they could...and did. Now, however, we cannot find room for them.

This picture is the kind of thing firefighters face every day. They must go into a building or home, knowing they may well be killed in the line of duty, yet they continue. They rush in because there may be someone in that fire. There may be a child that could die. Often, they can only reach a body whose breaths have been exhausted, and they must wonder, "What if..." We're going to thank them by telling them we cannot make room for them? We're going to offer them a 'private ceremony' at a later date? How dare you, Mayor Bloomberg? How can you do anything BUT have them in attendance? I am feeling a sense of collective guilt on the part of the American people in general, as if we are all letting them down. For hours and days after this horrific tragedy, they remained, working and searching, never asking for anything other than the ability to pull yet one more survivor from this mass of steel and concrete. We cannot make room for them 10 years later.

This final picture says it all. In the face of a National Tragedy, THIS is what they wanted to show the world. DO NOT discount this message - the message these firefighters, perhaps unknowingly, sent the rest of the world that day is that we are still here! They raised our flag that day to tell anyone that might be associated with the horrific attacks, "Nice try. You can knock us down, you can come at us in your cowardly fashion, you can attempt to strike fear in our hearts...but we are Americans!" You see, even as they were trying to find survivors, this picture, as many of us remember, was inspirational. These men did more for us that day than save lives. They did more than give their lives. They, more than anyone involved, gave us a resolve to defeat terrorists worldwide. 343 Firefighters gave their lives that day. We cannot find room for them, though, at the 10th anniversary ceremony. I would think, if you ask the families that will be in attendance and lost family members on 9-11-01, they would want them there to say a solemn, "Thank you." Sadly, we're going to thank them by saying you cannot be there. This isn't sad, it's a travesty. Mayor Bloomberg, and anyone associated with this decision, should be ashamed of themselves. Thank God there are brave men and women that are members of the FDNY and NYPD. Were it not for them, how high do we think that number might have risen? While we honor those whose lives were lost that day, just as with the flag above, we need to honor those that saved even more lives. They've earned it. They're heroes....and, as such, deserve to be treated with the respect and honor that entails.

Until next time..........

1 comment:

  1. you know there was no room for Jesus either. Makes you wonder if we have learned anything as human beings. T