September 12th, 2010


Nine Years

Like many people, I can still tell you all the details of my day nine years ago. I know where I was, what I was doing and how I felt when the world ceased to be normal. I've moved on since then -- in so many ways. Every time September rolls around, it feel like 9-11 could be just months ago instead of years. In other ways, it doesn't seem like nine years is enough to do all that I've done since that day... Graduate college, move away, become a career firefighter, get promoted a couple of times, get engaged, buy a house and get married. But every year, all of the details come back and I always remember.

I think too many people have started to forget. If there was one good thing that came from the devastation of 9-11, it was the unity that our country experienced. Standing here on this anniversary, I feel very little of that unity at all. In fact, I dare say that our country is as fragmented as I've seen it in my 32 years. Everybody seems to hate everybody else. The world seems so polarized. I keep waiting for the Ghostbusters to show up and find the unhappy slime running through the sewer.

We must remember. We must remember the 2,980 people murdered. We must remember the firefighters who entered those towers expecting to die -- but who did it anyway. We must certainly remember the 343 firefighters who never made it back to their firehouse or their families. We must remember how we felt. We must remember how we dwelled on our similarities more than our differences in the days and weeks afterward. We must remember how we came together as one. We must remember.