Today marks the anniversary one of the most horrific moments in our nations history. Many other blogs have been asking “Do you remember where you were on September 11th?.” I am sure we all remember what we were doing. Those images of the airplanes being flown into the World Trade Center are forever imprinted in our memory. My question to you is “What else do you remember about September 11th?”
I remember the look of fear in my wife’s eyes as we watched in horror at the events of September 11th. I remember faces of the people at ground zero running for their lives in a cloud of smoke and falling debris as the buildings began to collapse around them. I remember seeing the police and firefighters rushing into those same collapsing buildings to search for people lost in the smoke.
Over the next few days we as Americans went through a significant shift. We continued to mourn the loss of those who died, while we rallied behind those brave men and women of the FDNY and NYPD. They continued to search the rubble for missing people. We began to refer to these brave men and women as the Hero’s of 9/11.
We vowed never to forget.
Now 15 years later the image of those three firefighters raising the American Flag over the remains of the World Trade Center, is one of the most memorable images of September 11th. But now something else has happened. Those same brave firefighters are still called Heroes on the days surrounding 9/11, and called “Union Thugs” the other 360 days a year.
What has happened? What has changed in America that we went from buying FDNY shirts and hats, and donating money to the International Association of Firefighters, to making them enemies of the country?
Why is government trying to demonize these brave heroic men and women.
So on this day, remember all of September 11th. Remember over 3000 men and women who died tragically. Remember those 600 first responders who also died as Heroes. The courageous men and women who put lives of others ahead of their own. Remember this when people refer to Firefighters and Police Officers as Union Thugs. They have and always be this country’s HEROES.
That is something we should never forget.
(This post was originally written by Matt Murray in 2011 and only edited to reflect the current number of years since 9-11)