Pennington: For Those Who Rushed In

Where were you when the world stopped turning? For 343 families in New York and hundreds of families in Virginia and Pennsylvania we knew where are loved ones were, on duty. To many of us it comes as no surprise as we understood the deep commitment that all emergency services providers have throughout history. We understood that it is a calling, not a career.  But on that fateful day the world watched as these brave men and women showed their true selves.

These brave responders rushed toward a situation where countless innocent people needed help and they answered the call. Many of us can think back to that day and how we sat, drawn to the televisions watching the fire, EMS, and police officers save lives and take risks that most people could not fathom.  It was a day where heroes showed up, not in capes, but in uniforms.

In this jumpseat riders opinion, Sept. 11, quite possibly, could be the best day in the emergency services history. How could you say such a thing? 

That day when the cowards attacked us, thousands of first responders had the world’s attention as they watched the responders rush in to danger. Carrying victims, ushering people away, and saving countless lives, with no regard for their own safety, time and time again. 

This one day in history every pair of eyes in the world watched the responders performing countless rescues and showed what the fabric of their existence really is. The world was watching first responders do something amazing, their jobs. 

Many may not have understood what it was like to serve thier community, until that day.  Until the day where so many gave so much.

Some 12 years later many things have changed in our world, with one exception.  The brave men and women of today’s fire service stand ready to rush in.  Every second of every minute we are here.  

Let’s make today about honoring the sacrifice of so many people by reaching out to the families of these men and women and saying  “thank you.” While we all remember where we were when the world stopped turning, these families knew that this was the day that their loved one will not be coming home.

Honoring the sacrifice of so many shouldn’t come once a year, it should come with every breath you take. Being a firefighter you are part of something bigger.  You are a part of those responders who gave so much on 9/11 and we should carry their memories with us until it’s our time to rush in.