Posts Tagged With: John Poole Middle School

~ Are You Freaking Kidding Me??!! ~

“Lest We Ever Forget” has already been forgotten in many places across the nation.

“Are you freaking kidding me?”  You ask, having been watching several news clips about September 11th.

Yup. Case and point: My Captain spoke all day at our local middle school to 7th graders who were not even born when the attacks occurred, who had no real knowledge of the why’s and how’s of it all going down, and who really, to be honest, in their lack of understanding, did not care about it.  Apparently the 60 second news bits they had seen didn’t quite bring it to life for them.

??????????????

But after My Captain spoke to them, and showed them the timeline, and his experiences there with Urban Search and Rescue, they all got VERY sober.

??????????????

The whole room was bathed in quiet contemplation of a world that was different before terrorism came to our soil.  They listened respectfully about how so many innocent people died during our nation’s introduction to the new reality of domestic terrorism.

??????????????

My Captain grows increasingly frustrated that “Lest We Ever Forget” is, in reality, being forgotten.  Being there is one thing, trying to bring children to that place with mere words and pictures is quite another.  You can tell them that the fire at the World Trade Center burned around 1500 degrees…and that we know this because it takes that much to bend steel…and you can try to explain why the people above the 77th floor or the 93th floor would rather jump than burn and suffocate….but it is just another story to them.  It could be another “Terminator” movie in its surreality.

How do you take those children back to that awful day?

On Facebook, I saw firefighters in other states lamenting that their children heard nothing but a passing paragraph in a history book of the tragic, life-changing, country-changing events of that hateful day.

And I realized that at some point, we have to do something to stop the growing apathy…because that will lead to ignorance…and that will lead to history repeating itself.

I’d like to find someone we could work with to videotape next year’s school visit for My Captain, so that when he can no longer share these experiences with the kids in person, his video could.   A video of his story could also be something that could be shared county-wide or further, because I don’t think our whole national school system is talking about this to the generations who were not there!

But until then, he feels his efforts aren’t enough.  He knows he’s swimming against the tide of apathy and ignorance of that fateful day.  He still tries his best, though.

??????????????

And in the end, all you can do is have lunch with the kids after your lecture,

…and allow them to have their childhood back.

But Beloved, please know that, inadequate as it may seem to you, every time you go to that school and do your best to impart the history of that horrible, horrible day, you ARE honoring those firemen, and policemen, and innocent people who were murdered.  You honor their memories and their sacrifice.  You DO.

YOU have never forgotten, and those souls will always know that.

And to you, Dear Reader, if you agree that we mustn’t let this slip into sound bites and relative oblivion…if this moves you at all, or speaks to you on some level, will you please help spread the awareness and share this post?  No pressure.

Okay maybe a little pressure.

But not an uncomfortable amount.  Just enough to make you want to share.

Continue reading

Categories: Fire and Rescue, Urban Search and Rescue | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

~ Tough Love Competition ~

It is the eve of September 11th.  A sober night for our country, and particularly poignant for My Captain, since he was deployed with Maryland Task Force One to join the collapse rescue effort that morning at the Pentagon.

untitledCCHe would spend the next 7 gruesome days on the ground of the disaster as the Task Force Leader of Maryland Task Force One, leading their effort to find any viable survivors.

They found none.  Not a single one.  Plenty of burning jet fuel and rubble, but no survivors.

One “holy cow” story that came out of his experience that deployment actually happened on 9/12.  A man in a military uniform was brought to My Captain during the rescue efforts because he had a NEED to get to a desk on the exact spot the plane hit.  It turned out that there was a file on that desk about the very man they knew they had to find:  Osama Bin Laden.   The military man needed to get to that desk and find that file.  My Captain feared there was no way the file or probably even the desk had survived.  But they got that man up the treacherously unstable rubble pile, and UNBELIEVABLY the desk was sitting right next to where the building collapsed, and the file was still sitting on it…unscathed.  UN-FREAKING-SCATHED.

No one could believe it.

There are other 9/11 deployment stories My Captain shares.  We’ll save them for another time.  He does share some of them every year with our local middle school on 9/11.

imagesAA

In fact, he’ll be there all day tomorrow, as he has for the past several years, telling the kids about a day they were not even born to experience.  It’s crazy that those kids never knew the Pre-terrorist America as we did, growing up.

These thoughts were rattling around in my head as I was methodically doing the dishes this evening.   I thought about all of the families that were forever changed in that brief morning, and how all of those people never knew it was coming.  They never got one final goodbye.  One final hug or kiss.  They weren’t ready.

My eyes drifted to this:

??????????????

and I smiled.  Several months ago, I came down one morning and saw a note from My Captain that merely read: “I love you dearly.”

I left that note up there because every time I saw it, well, I felt warm, and tingly, and loved.

And then sometime this summer, I noticed that Varmint had added to it: “I love you more!”

And then sometime later, My Captain wrote: “I love you both the most!”

And then my Varmint wrote: “I call loving you guys infinity!”

2015-09-10 11.34.21

It was absolutely juvenile, and disturbing that we can’t even love each other without some kind of competition.

But truly, it makes me smile even bigger than before because, unlike so many of the victims of 9/11, we treat every day in this house as if we will never get the chance to say we love each other again.  Partly because My Captain’s profession is one of risk and danger.  And partly because of the lesson that was that horrible day.

12002182_10153634581543817_5389865240930383503_n

One we will never forget in our household.

10704106_10152706831193817_6496623761204860959_n

That’s My Captain in the white officer’s shirt at the far right of this picture.  If you are wondering why they were smiling, it was because they’d been deployed for 7 straight days and they were being relieved to go home…they were about to see their loved ones.  And they knew they were given the great gift to live another day to see those dear ones.

And love them.

Even if it was in an oddly competitive manner.

Categories: Fire and Rescue, Urban Search and Rescue | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

~ Still Relevant ~

Today, the anniversary of the September, 11, 2001 attacks,

1184878_10151835228808363_1493450703_n

My Captain spent his morning at our local middle school talking to the tweens about that day, and terrorism, and rescue.  He talked about his role as the Task Force Leader of Maryland Task Force One’s, Urban Search and Rescue team.  He showed slides,

19516959_BG1

and gear,

19516959_BG3

and told stories…the real ones, not the ones spun by the media.  For the second year in a row, he spent his personal day off on this anniversary, trying to teach the up-and-coming generations some of the lessons our generation has learned.  Why?

Because he doesn’t want to repeat that kind of collapse rescue.

Desperately, he doesn’t want to repeat it.

He did the same thing last year, and the local news came and reported on it.  Here’s the link to that if you want to see My Captain on video:  http://www.myfoxdc.com/story/19516959/md-middle-school-students-receive-special-history-lesson-about-911#axzz2edym6b3m

It’s hard to convey to the next generation how our generation mourns the loss of innocence of America.   After all, they have never known an America that wasn’t constantly aware of the threat of terrorism.   How do you teach a group of people who are numbed by the violence in movies, television and media, that senseless acts like those of 9/11 are supposed to be rare?

Yesterday was My Captain’s normal shift at Fire Station 31, and in the late morning, he was called to a ‘bombing’ at our County Police and Fire Headquarters.

He and his crew spent a long hot morning essentially babysitting the area as the bomb technicians did their job.  Apparently a juvenile had set off an explosive device.   It didn’t hurt anyone, and by all accounts was fairly small.  But it was a bomb!  A stinkin’ bomb!  We’re not talking Mentos in a bottle of Sprite, either.  We’re talking a meant-to-hurt bomb.

When My Captain mentioned it to me later in the day…in an off-hand way…I was floored!  Why wasn’t this ALL OVER THE NEWS?!  The kind of mentality it takes to intentionally bomb a place…I can’t wrap my head around that anymore than I could wrap my brain around the events of 9/11.

But regardless of the ‘whys,’ and the ‘hows,’ and the ‘what-the-heck-was-the-kid-thinkings,’ one fact sticks glaringly out at me.  Here we are, a dozen years after that catastrophic loss of our country’s innocence, still dealing with this kind of thing, albeit on a smaller scale, right here in our backyards.  My Captain’s job as a rescuer is just as relevant now, as it was then.

And I fear, it always will be.

Categories: Fire and Rescue, Urban Search and Rescue | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

~ Parental Chaperone From Hell ~

Through a process entirely unknown to me, I find myself signed up for a three day/two night John Poole Middle School outdoor education camp…and I’m going as….get this….a parent chaperone.

BAaahahahaahAHAAHAahaahahahaAHAAHAHAAaa!

I don’t honestly know how it happened.  It was a blur.  My friend….or at least, I thought she was my friend, Wendy, cajoled and flattered and finagled me into it somehow.

I’m not speaking to her ever again.

Or at least until I see her again. And even then, only if she is bearing coffee and chocolate for me.

I think she said something along the lines of, “You’ll be so good for the kids!  Your daughter needs you there!  It will be good for you to make new friends!  There will be s’mores!”

I heard this: “Yada, yada, yada, blah, blah, blah, S’mores.”

And the next thing I knew I was signed up.  Committed.

My Captain, the love of my life, said he would come too, without hesitation.  Not because he isn’t already SERIOUSLY over-committed.  Not because he relishes the idea of a complete and total lack of privacy for three days.  And not because he is crazy, though the thought crossed my mind.

He is doing it because he loves my kids. He’s doing it because he loves other kids…all kids.  He is doing it because he is driven to teach and model and encourage.  He is entirely selfless.   He is doing it because he is truly, honestly, sincerely a hero in every way.  Yes, he is a hero as a firefighter and paramedic.  Yes, he’s a hero as a rescue technician for the Urban Search and Rescue Maryland Task Force One’s Collapse Rescue Team.  But for an infinitely more important reason, he’s a hero because he has an enormous heart.   No one had to cajole him into this venture.

Me?

I’m in it for the S’mores.

Categories: Family | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: