Saturday, September 11, 2010

Remembering 911

Its just one of those days you will NEVER forget.  you will always remember where you were and what you were doing.  It is a day to remember...and to hug your family a little tighter.  And its a day to remember those who left their houses in the early morning and did not return to them as expected.
Shortly after 911, when we were thinking about Christmas presents I wanted to do something for Scott for Christmas.  I wanted to make a donation in his name to a NYFD.  The problem was I didn't know what company to pick.  There are so many and so many lost members on that day.  As some of you know our local Fire companies have a number.  Our Fire Company's number is 58.  So I went online and searched to see if there was an Engine Company 58.  And I found that there was......and they had lost one of the Lieutenants at Ground Zero.  So I sent a donation and a note explaining why I had chosen them.  And on Christmas morning I told Scott about the "sister" station in NY,
Almost a year later we received a beautiful hand written note with Engine 58s logo on it.  We framed it and hung it in our living a reminder of both the good and the bad of that day.
So fast forward almost 9 years.  I have met lots of NYC firemen but never anyone from Engine 58 ( I always ask).  I am at Kelder's Farm working and a family comes in.  The man is wearing a fire co.. tshirt from another state but he is a NYC fireman.  I ask what company is he with and he answers "Engine Company 58"  I got all prickly and emotion stuck in my throat.  I explained what we had done 9 years ago.  I told him that the card had a picture of a bull dog on it and he showed me the tatoo on his leg...the one with the bull dog!
He told me a story of that day.  He told me that there was a probie fire fighter who had just started to work there.  He said when the call came that a plane had crashed into one of the towers a Lt. Nagel turned to the probie and said "you don't have to come.  You can stay behind " the probie said"No, I am going"  They rushed to the tower.  Shortly after they arrived the first tower began to fall.  The Lt. told them to get out of there.  They all ran, but not too far away.  Soon after they returned to the scene and looked for their Lt. to give them further direction.  They could not find him.  He had disappeared beneath the rumble. 
The probie that day  nine years ago was the man I met at work.  The husband , now father whose first fire as a NYC fireman , was 911.  The Lt. that died that day was Lt. Robert Nagel, the fireman whose family we made the donation to.  I was honored to meet a fireman from that company...even after all this time.
And today I think of all the firemen who bravely lived AND died that day.  I think of all the people who died who were not firemen but  just men and women doing their jobs in their offices or going somewhere on a plane. I think of the children from a school in Washington DC who had won a trip to California because of academic excellence.  I think of that plane that went down in PA  because the brave men and women who would NOT let it crash into another building.  I think of  a women from our community whose sister was on one of those planes.  I think of my friend Robert who recently died from a illness he received from the aftermath of 911.In one 24 hour stretch the world was shown the absolute worst of humanity and the absolute best.  And I believe the best far outweighed the worst!!

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful post and an amazing story! How neat to have met that man from Company 58 after all those years. You are right, the best outweighed the worst.