Lest we forget...
Signal 5 - 5 - 5 - 5 has been sounded
There is no commentary this week, there are no words strong enough to express my feelings, so I attempted to make this a graphical and audio tribute to what has happened.
I am like all of you. I am sad, I am devastated, I am sickened at what has happened in this country and especially hurt as it relates to our brothers and sister in FDNY. New York is four hours away, I have a couple of professional associates there, but I feel pain as if it were my back yard and each and everyone of them were my family.
They are my family, they are firefighters.
There is one emotion that I am not feeling and that is surprise at the monumental loss of life to the members of FDNY. I am not surprised that the first responders to one of the greatest tragedies the world has ever known were firefighters.
I am not surprised that while we were still under vicious attack additional firefighters were still being called in to respond into this war zone.
I am not surprised that while 23,000 gallons of flaming jet fuel, debris and bodies were falling from the sky, that firefighters were rushing into the building trying to clear the stairways of the thousands of fleeing innocent civilians.
It is not a surprise that while 11,000 members of FDNY are working to rescue and recover civilians and their own members that many more thousands of firefighters from across the country are volunteering and arriving to help, dig, sweat, and risk their lives along side of them.
I am not surprised that when the command staff and command post was destroyed and members killed that the operation continued and others stepped up courageously to fill the void.
It is not a surprise that while the horror was unfolding in New York that in Washington DC Firefighters were doing exactly the same thing, protecting our military commanders by inserting themselves into immediate danger between the flames and results of terrorist attack, and our nations military command.
Their story is no different from FDNY, but certainly they did not face the horrible loss of life that happened in New York.
I am not surprised that some of the most dramatic images of hope that we witnessed from both scenes were images of firefighters stopping their work to raise and display the American flag.
I am not surprised that in these hectic and turmoil filled eight hours thousands of firefighters paid and volunteer rushed to their firehouses all over the United States to be available to serve their community.
In these same horrible eight hours thousands of emergency medical calls, fires and other emergency calls were handled across this nation as they are everyday by the nation's fire service
In the days, weeks and months that will follow, firefighters remain ready to serve their communities, in spite of the horrible loss that we all feel for our comrades in FDNY.
It is just what we do.
Please join me in remembering these members.
(Use your down arrow on your computer not page down, but the arrow key)
Slowly scroll through the flames below. There are some 400 flames representing members of the FDNY that are missing or have lost their life. By going slowly you may get a grasp of what the magnitude of these numbers look like.
These flames have not been extinguished, each of them alone shed light on their family, friends and their department, but together they will burn brightly in our minds and be a guiding light and a beacon for the American fire service for the remainder of our careers. Let our fallen members serve as a core reminder of what the job we are all dedicated to is really about.....
Helping our fellow American citizens in their worst of times, no matter what, no matter when.
Please take strength from this message, do not let these lives lost be in vain.
The American People, and the American Fire Service are strong and we will overcome this blow that has been dealt to us.
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I am also going to start a post on my Bulletin Board Page as well.
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