I’m wearing a NY Fire Department t-shirt today. I wore it last year on this day. And the year before. And the year before that. It only seems right to me.
9/11 was such a surreal event. Actually, event is the wrong word. Event has positive connotations. 9/11 was a surreal disaster. I will never forget watching everything happen on TV and feeling this overwhelming desire to be in New York. To do something to help. To hold the hands of people in that state and band together with them to heal.
I did not know anyone who was lost in the towers. But I listened to their names at the memorial and cried and cried. What struck me the very most through the whole tragedy, though, was the loss of the firemen. Report after report noted that while everyone else was running out, the firemen were running in. And it’s for them that my heart breaks the most.
My brother is a fireman. He’s been working in the field for about 17 years, with years of volunteer experience before that. Right now, he is an engineer, so he drives the truck and operates it while the other guys run into burning buildings. For this, I am lucky. But there will most likely come a time when, again, he is one of the yellow coats rushing in to rescue people.
And I hope that when that day comes, the men who I'm wearing my shirt for today will watch over and protect him.