I don’t cry easily. I am not scared by much. But every year on this day, especially the last few years, I bawl like a baby. Anytime I read or hear about people who willingly walk into something where they know there is a very great chance they will not come back out, has my utmost respect, gratitude, and thanks.
411 emergency personnel died this day eleven years ago. Those people left behind wives, husbands, sons and daughters, and mothers and fathers to selflessly attempt to rescue as many as they could from seemingly hopeless situations. 343 firefighters lost their lives on that day. As a firefighter, you know from the get-go that you are not guaranteed your next shift, even though no one truly likes to talk about it. Although equally as bad, this was not just one man lost, this was truckload after truckload, department after department, of brave soldiers selflessly marching into probably the closest thing to hell anyone has ever seen.
It is on days like today when I wish I could wrap my arms around all of my brothers and sisters in the fire, ems, and police services and thank them for what they do everyday. Today, especially those of the FDNY and NYPD who lost family members, whether they were bound by blood or by brotherhood.
I have never been more proud of the career path I have chosen than on days like today.