Where were you?

If you’re old enough, I’ll bet you can name a few events that you remember exactly where you were when certain moments of history happened.

Remember?We can wager you remember where you were on that cold January day when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded in the sky. We imagine you keenly remember what you were doing earlier this year when news of the Boston Marathon bombing broke.

As first responders, we’re sure you remember where you were on the morning of September 11, 2001.

Of all groups, we really remember.

We bet you can still feel the emotion, the fear, the disbelief, the driving need to find out where everyone else was that really meant something to you.

Doesn’t seem that long ago; does it?

Not a second thought…

Not a single member of the NYFD, NYPD, Port Authority Police- not one of the first responders gave a second thought to answering the call that day. It’s what they did.

Each of the 343 brothers and sisters lost that day acted instinctively. Imagine for a second responding to the call while looking forward with horror at the task ahead that day.

One of the largest buildings in the entire world, in the center of the hub of all American commerce and life had gaping holes punched in them. Dark black smoke and inferno flames spewed from the majestic towers. And… you’re heading toward that mess for what… to save lives, of course!

Not a single one of those men and women ran away. Instead each ran into the fray. Each responder inserted himself or herself into history that day and we doubt a single one of them gave it a second thought.

You know that drive, don’t you? There was a job to do. We’re bigger than life. We’ll fix it!


Are we crazy to do what we do? You betcha we are.

But I’m sure there isn’t a one of you reading this, right now, who if called upon to play the same role, wouldn’t run right in just like those that perished that day did.

First responder status is a high calling. We save lives- young, old, short, tall, black, white, Hispanic… none of that matters when the tones drop.


Today we pause to remember. Today we pause to give thanks for our own safety. Today we pause to pay tribute to those who gave all on that day in American history that no one can ever forget.

But today, of all days, please remember to play it extra safe. Watch your backs while you intervene between life and death on behalf of your community so next year we can once again gather to remember one more time.

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