We Thank You
Over the past several years, we have had the privilege of working with brave men and women in fire departments across the nation. We are humbled by your courage in the face of danger, commitment to your fellow firefighters and relentless efforts to save lives and property. Everyday you kiss your loved ones goodbye and put your lives on the line for complete strangers. Not because it is the profitable thing to do, but because it is the right thing to do.
In a time when quality role models are few, we thank you for your selflessness. We thank you for your ability to make the difficult decisions. We thank you placing your safety aside to save the lives of our brothers, our sisters, our mothers, our fathers, our families and our friends. We thank you for protecting our homes and our memories. We thank you for being the heroes we need.
A firefighter is a symbol of fierce bravery and overwhelming protection in times of despairing danger. When times are at their worst, you are at your best and we thank you.
Honoring the Fallen and Remembering 9/11
The World Trade Center
On September 11, 2001 American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 8:46 a.m. Fearing a great loss of life from this apparently tragic accident, first responders began arriving at the scene. Shortly after the initial crash, at 9:03, United Airlines Flight 175 was flown directly into the South Tower. At this moment, the first responders and the world realized we were being attacked.
With the World Trade Center’s infrastructure critically damaged, thousands of gallons of jet fuels filling the towers with a raging fire and hundreds of staircases ahead of them, the first responders made a decision. They put their lives behind the safety of others, they put their future memories with their families behind the safety of others, and they went in.
For those of you who have never had the privilege to dawn bunker gear, carry a hose or physically exert yourself while wearing face mask in the heat of fire, the task these brave men and women accomplished will be hard to fully understand. Covered head to toe in thick fire resistant clothing, carrying hundreds of pounds of gear and breathing through an oxygen tank, they began to climb.
The firefighters battled limited visibility, fires through out the building and frantic people desperately trying to escape. Whether by the few elevators working, or the monstrous stair climb, when firefighters reached the impact zone there was little they could do. But firefighters do not quit. They searched the wreckage and carried anyone they could find one hundred floors back to the ground. They radioed for back up saying they needed more help for fire suppression and they did not quit.
Tragically, at 9:59 a.m. the South Tower collapsed instantly killing hundreds of civilians and first responders. Even in the midst of the impending collapse of their tower, firefighters relentlessly worked to save anyone they could in the North Tower. At 10:28 a.m. the North Tower’s structure could no longer withstand the heat of the inferno burning within and it collapsed, killing hundreds of more civilians and first responders.
In total, 2,753 civilians and first responders perished at the World Trade Center on 9/11, of which 411 were rescue workers fighting to save the trapped victims inside the towers.
Unfortunately, the attack on the World Trade Center was not the only attack that day. At 9:37 a.m. a group of hijackers flew American Airlines Flight 77 directly into the Pentagon, instantly killing the 59 passengers on board. The airplane, shrapnel and thousands of gallons of jet fuel slammed through several inner rings of the Pentagon. In total, 184 victims lost their lives at the Pentagon.
United Airlines Flight 93 has become a symbol of heroism, bravery and the ability of Americans to band together for the greater good. After learning of their flight being hijacked, the passengers we shuffled to the back of the plane. What the hijackers did not account for was the passenger’s willingness to fight back. A group of several heroic passengers bravery took on the knife wielding hijackers in an attempt to regain control of the airplane. Upon realize they were quickly losing control, the hijacker piloting the plane made the decision to crash the it into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania at 10:03 a.m. Though the 40 people on board were killed instantly, the heroism and bravely saved the lives of hundreds of potential victims at the Capital Building where the plane was plotted to crash.
We Will Remember
For the firefighters, police officers, emergency personnel, first responders and victims, we will never forget the sacrifices made on September 11, 2001 by the brave men and women who chose to put others safety before their own. We keep you in our heart, we hope to make you proud in our actions, and we press on knowing that no matter what tragedy occurs, we are the United States of America and we will rise above.
John 15:13 “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for a friend.”