Posts Tagged With: Pentagon

~ 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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!”

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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.

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One we will never forget in our household.

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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

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