Today marks the 15th Anniversary of the worst terrorist attack on US soil. This day when everyone’s reality was rocked when two aircraft were flown into the World Trade Center towers, one while many of America was watching; one aircraft was flown into the hardened side of the Pentagon penetrating more deeply into the rings of than anyone thought was possible; and, one aircraft was aimed at the Capitol, the seat of our free government but was stopped short by a group of 40 heroes who took it upon themselves to stop these terrorist knowing that it was going to cost them their lives. This day, 15 years ago, stands as a tragic reminder that we were attacked brutally on our own soil.
If you remember that day I am sure you watched the footage as crowds of thousands of people ran away from the tragic scenes to save themselves, while another group of people, the brave first responders, police, fire, ems, and even some civilians ran toward the carnage in an attempt to save others. For many, this brave act cost them their own lives.
As we remember this day I am saddened by the recent events that have turned people against these brave men and women who leave home for each shift not knowing if they will return home to their family after their shift. Having worked in the fields of police, fire, and EMS, I have seen the sacrifices made by these men and women. Stress, constant exposure to tragedy, and the necessity of having to make a life or death decision within mere seconds, can take its toll. But these men and women continue to give, continue to sacrifice, and continue to leave their families to protect our community and our families.
Words cannot make up for what these men and women have seen, but, often, words are all we have. Today, I challenge you all to go beyond words. Show your thankfulness for these men and women who willingly give of themselves each and every day for a paycheck that is often too small for their sacrifice. When you see one of these brave heroes, yes, tell them thank you, but, if you can buy their meal, give them a glass of cold water, and pray for them and their families. Let them know you appreciate their sacrifice.
Thank you officers, medics, fire-fighters, and dispatchers. You are in our thoughts and prayers daily, and we are grateful God has called you to your chosen profession.