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  1. #1
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    Default For those of you ready for the CBS WTC tape...

    Recently, another thread here was asking for your opinions on the soon to be aired footage from inside the WTC on 9/11. The overwhelming majority of the non-FDNY members here said that they were either "all for it" or "needed to see it".

    Some members stated that they were not sure what the motives CBS had for the release of the tape, or how they felt about the families and their feelings about its national airing... but they were damn sure going to be front and center when it came on.

    For those of you who feel this way about the tape and the perceived entitlement that the public has to view it, please consider this example and the way that it makes you feel:

    The NY Post ran an article today,(3/3), about a tour that is being run of the Battery Park City area of Manhattan. Among the sites that customers can pay to see are a variety of "attractions" in the immediate vicinity of the WTC complex.

    Thats right, you can hand over some cash and have a tourguide explain to you that the rubble you see on you right is what is left of the WTC, what you see around that rubble pile are the various structures that were damaged and otherwise generally illustrate all of the miscellaneous, associated carnage that has yet to be repaired.

    I cannot comment intelligently about the full content of the tourguides script, but I wonder if they point out the brothers that are still scratching and pawing at the earth, or whether they explain to the customers the number of firemen, cops and civilians that are still buried there. Naw... probably not. Who in there right mind would want to spoil the good time... (or the referals for future business.) I wonder how they explain the smell.

    Are you disgusted? Is this a blatantly crass money-making hustle? Is anybody being exploited for the sake of cash? How would you feel if you were one of the brothers working there, and you looked up to see the tour group and their gawking, collective stare? Better yet, how would you feel if you were a family member or widow and you were at the site for your own reasons, and just happened to see them?

    I know what you're thinking... this is a stretch to compare the CBS film to this tour group. Is it? Althogh the tour group offers the opportunity to view the site of one of the nations worst tragedies, in its essence, it only offers a look at a collection of burned out and damaged buildings. The film, however, offers the opportunity to look into the eyes of dead men, in the moments before their lives were stolen.

    Imagine being a widow of one of these men, and seeing for the first time a glimpse of your husband, when you thought another glimpse would never be yours. Imagine further what it would be like to share that intimate moment with everyone else in America, including the big mouth yenta from next door that would pick up the phone immediately to see if you saw him and to trumpet proudly the fact that she had.

    For those of you that doubt the motive or timing of this event, ask yoursleves how CBS came to posess this film. They bought it. Why would they purchase such a film and then advertise the hell out of its release? I'm pretty sure you know the words to that song.

    A few of us from NYC have, at various times, tried to explain to each of you the feelings we have when things like this come up. You are probably growing tired of our wailings and they probably have less and less of an effect on you each time one of us speaks out about how these things affect us and our brothers.

    We don't, generally, have a problem with the event itself, nor with most other events of this nature, but our problem lies in the TIMING and the MOTIVE. Some of you labeled this presentation a "tribute" to the men that died there. From our perspective this tribute is nothing more than a freak-show that is being aired "while the iron is hot".

    Why not wait until the families are comfortable? Because they are not sure how much interest they would lose in the meantime. Lost interest equals less cash. They are preying on the fact that people are starving for any 9/11 related gossip they can get... the gorier or more haunting the better.

    I am sure that none of you means disrespect or harm by participating in events like these. You can't help yourselves, your stung by the same bug that makes people slow down and hyperextend their necks when they drive by a car accident. But you certainly need to understand that the TIMING and MOTIVE of this particular event is going to cause nothing but further heartache.
    Last edited by southbronx; 03-03-2002 at 09:37 PM.


  2. #2
    FIREMAN 1st GRADE E40FDNYL35's Avatar
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    AMEN and Thank you BROTHER
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  3. #3
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    ONCE AGAIN SOUTHBRONX YOU'VE SAID IT ALL.

    BUT I'M SURE SOME JUST WON'T GET IT

  4. #4
    Senior Member lady_in_turnouts's Avatar
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    Southbronx, that was eloquently written and from the heart.

    Lady.
    "Let every nation know..that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and the success of liberty"---JFK, Jan.1961

  5. #5
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    Southbronx

    I am deeply sorry for the pain that you are in. I can only speak for myself, but I do get it. I would give anything in the world for the power to heal your pain because I do care and my heart aches for you and the FDNY.

    The FDNY will always be remembered in my heart, my thoughts, my prayers.

  6. #6
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    A 10 for eloquence as usual southbronx, you do your department proud.

    I do have a confession to make- I might have actually watched the special, since one of my biggest failings, I think, is my tendancy to be somewhat of a rubberneck. When Firehouse made available the audio recordings from that awful day, I listended to them... and instantly regretted it. Those voices were in my head for days afterwards. I intend not to make the same mistake twice. That, and the testimony from you and others with your head screwed on right made me step back and think about it again as well. I pledge to do better in the future.

    However, while we're on the topic of tours and viewing, etc, I do have an question that I'd be privelaged to get your opnion on, and any other NY brothers who want to chime in. It is this- you all (I think) came out with heavy criticism for the "viewing platform" thrown up by the city. I can understand this. But I was wondering- many, many people who have been involved in the recovery offorts, and others who have visited the site such as public officials, etc etc, have all said pretty much the same thing in many cases- "The pictures on TV don't do it justice- you really have no idea how massive a tragedy this was until you've been here." If this is true, what if people just really want to get tht exprience- that is, they feel like they don't truly appreciate the magnitutde of the destruction, the sacrifice, what have you, and decide based on the testimony of others that the only way to understand more fully what went on that day is to see it first hand? That would surely be my only reason for making an attempt to view the site... but if that's not something people like yourselves are comfortable with, then I won't give it another thought. Thanks for your time, and stay safe.

  7. #7
    Junior Member dabwilldo's Avatar
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    VERY well said southbronx!! The whole money-making thing not to mention the 'gawking' really bothers me.
    Last edited by dabwilldo; 03-04-2002 at 04:06 AM.
    ~DAB~

  8. #8
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    Southbronx,

    I can honestly say that I feel and understand your and FDNY's pain.
    I lost two friends in an apparatus accident in 1999. Following the accident two of us went back to the scene and picked up EVERY piece of debris from the ground, vowing that NO ONE would get a grisly souvenier of our tragedy.

    I wish this could be so for all of you who lost so many brothers on that horrible day. Unfortunately, a lot of sick, disgusting people are exploiting you and the families grief. As I sat at the station on that September day and watched live what was happening,I broke down into tears and prayed to god to save as many as he could. I still pray for all of you, as I know that the days, weeks, and months after can be every bit as difficult as the day it happened.

    As for CBS I say, shame on them for this blatant ratings ploy. If they wanted to help, they could have purchased the tape and all rights to its images and then offered it to the members of FDNY and the families of the fallen, and then NEVER air it!! Perhaps some of the families would want to see it, and maybe not. I am also disgusted with the companies selling t-shirts and hats that are trying to profit from this. I myself have not, nor will I, buy any of it. I wouldn't want people who had no connection with us wearing specialy made apparel with my dept's name on it.

    I will be there in D.C. with the NFFF(national fallen firefighters foundation)in Oct. this year like I was in Emmitsburg as a volunteer last year. I do this because someone did it for us in 2000.
    To me ground zero is as sacred to FDNY as Foresters corner on st. rd 2 is to all of us who served with Pappy and Brian. We picked up everything down to small pieces of red plastic from the light bar.
    I only hope that you guys can pick up the pieces of your broken hearts. I know I'm still trying to pick up mine.
    I.A.C.O.J. Charter Member
    "Chet, get an inch and a half on that!"

    "Not for fame or reward,Not for place or rank. Not lured by ambition or goaded by necessity. But in simple obedience to duty as they understood it. These men suffered,sacrificed,dared all, and died. Let us never forget our fallen friends."

  9. #9
    Forum Member fftrainer's Avatar
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    Southbronx -- Congratulations.... on being man enough to speak your mind in a mature and reasonable manner as opposed to some of the immature chest pounding that goes on in some of these other posts!

    I can tell you that from across the river in NJ I don't necessarily agree with the timing CBS has chosen. They are publicizing this almost like a celebration of the 6-month anniversary and to me that is BS! In my opinion,6 months is not enough time for widows, children, family, co-workers......... etc to grieve, but in an effort to boost ratings, it appears that is irrelevent to CBS.

    If they would like to take their words literally and pay 'tribute' to these individuals, then act like they did - be humble, don't beg for the spotlight! Now that would be a more fitting tribute not only to the members of FDNY but to all those lost that day and to all those suffering ever since!!

    Stay safe!

  10. #10
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    Southbronx, southbronx, southbronxÖ

    Itís so much easier for me to justify wanting to watch the program on CBS when people give angry, ranting reasons why I shouldnít. Youíre making it difficult for me.

    I see your point. I donít fully comprehend what you and the rest of FDNY are going through, and never will.

    I am now faced with a dilemma: Does my desire to see the program stem from morbid curiosity or out of professional interest? Is there any real value gained for me watching the program?

    Do you think that there will be a time in the future when it would be more appropriate to show this program?

    Iím not trying to stir things up, but youíve made me think a little more about this, and it raised some questions.
    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

  11. #11
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    SouthBronx,

    Thank you for giving all of us something to think about.


    Our prayers are with you.

  12. #12
    District Chief distchief60b's Avatar
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    South Bronx.... I read your post and feel for you...deep in my hear. I, like many have a friend (just 1) in the FDNY and I worried over him for days until I heard he was ok. Then last night on "The Bravest" I saw him on TV...I cried.

    I certainly dont support the #$%@#^% of the tour agenda. I have even bypassed the purchase of some items relating to the event when the vendor could not tell me how much went to benefit the victims.

    I also have said before that I will watch the show. Not for fun, not for entertainment, but for edcuation. I want to learn more of those involved and get inside the event. I am certain that my heart will be in my throat, wondering how everyone who was involved is managing this.

    We all are with you and we all feel your pain. However, we will never really be able to know and understand what you went through and what you are going through because we were not there(at least I was not). I will be watching..as will my girlfriend....watching in horror and disbelief as to what you all went through as the tragic event escalated.

    God bless all of you!
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
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    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  13. #13
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    I hope that this film will enable the civilian population of the world to actually seen what is like to be a fire fighter. If you look at the papers and listen to the news, once again secruity is lacking at airports and other public venues. You should here some of the stories that are told by people in the public know. Stories of people still getting on planes with weapons. Yes, it has been six months and how quickly the public has forgotten what scarifices by the emergency services people gave.
    Go to an airport or some places where sercurity is an issue and here the complaints from the people being checked. (Why am I being checked, I have never done any thing wrong.) It is on the news every evening about the war on terrorism. Yet, many people think that it will not happen to them. I beleive that we are going to need constant reminders of why the emergency workers gave their lives. I hope the showing of this film will also remind future generations of Americans, that when they see a monument with the names of these Great Americans on it, that they were folks with families and people who gave their lives so that others could live, and not just a name.

    I know that many will not agree with my feelings, but, I feel that no firefighter should ever be just a name on a wall of stone.
    Larry

  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber E229Lt's Avatar
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    Does my desire to see the program stem from morbid curiosity or out of professional interest? Is there any real value gained for me watching the program?
    As firefighters, as I assume 99% of you are, this program will be watched by each of you. Each of you will take the same away from it, it will be a somber, empty feeling in your gut. There will also be many different reactions from firefighters trying to mask the somber, empty feeling in their gut. This will range from tears to laughter and that is understood.

    No matter how long you've been a firefighter, 1 month or 40 years+, you will know you are watching the worst moment in the history of the earths nobelest profession. When I slammed CBS for airing this, I did not try to suggest anyone boycot the program. I know, full well, you will all be glued and the VCRs will be rolling.

    What I did say is, if you are offended by what you see, let them know it.

    As for any value to be gained? I hope to god there is no value to be gained. I hope nobody ever has to make the decisions that were made that day. There are no lessons learned or re-enforced here. This was a once in history occurence, god willing.

    You'll all be watching, as I will. Maybe for different reasons. I will hope I don't see any of our fallen and if I do I will remember them for the night and Slam CBS in the morning. Many of you will watch and wonder. Some will watch and quarterback. We'll all act different, but we're all the same.

  15. #15
    District Chief distchief60b's Avatar
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    E229lt...perhaps I structured my reply incorrectly. Yes..i will be there watching and wondering and sick with an empty feeling. How will I react...I can most certainly say I will cry....for you and others...those that survived and those that did not.

    No gain should be made...that is for sure... In fact...I wonder if we should spark a move to have the network donate the profits if any to the "FUND" I read that NEXTEL is sponsoring it and will do so with limited interuptions... And yes...god willing...this will never happen again.

    You and I have developed a strange friendship. We have never spoke in person....yet we have communicated through here and I feel like I know you. Hope to someday meet you and with that in mind, hope I did not offend you or any of the FDNY members who may have read my response. I was just being philosophical I suppose...
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
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    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  16. #16
    MembersZone Subscriber E229Lt's Avatar
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    Stan,
    I took no offense at all. I know this will be watched. I personally don't believe anyone who would come on here and say they won't watch. I'm sorry it will be aired, but it will.
    Just hope some will come away feeling sorry it ever aired.

  17. #17
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    Default What Can We Do To Help FDNY Heal?

    SouthBronx, E229lt, and other FDNY brothers and sisters,
    As I read your posts, I have the same doubt about how to help that I felt spending time with my aunt in my uncle's hospital room as he lay there unconscious about to die. That's my question: how can the rest of us in the fire & EMS community best help you? An article on this web site talks about how FDNY members are weary of people stopping by your stations. We know that the recovery work continues and services continue. We know that the pain isn't over, and frankly, though I lost an acquaintance to a LODD about a year ago, I can't comprehend an ongoing hurt this big.

    So, should we be respectfully silent and give you folks time to heal? Should we ask how you're doing, or is that burdensome? Should we try to learn what we can from the media & trade mags about 9/11 - or should we wait for FDNY's report to come out? We do remember and care - but don't want to open still healing wounds.

    I respect you folks of FDNY, NYPD, Port Authority, and the other agencies that responded and lost folks greatly. My prayers remain with you. I just don't want to cause pain while wanting to help.

    What works best for you?
    Thanks.
    Proud to be honored with IACOJ membership. Blessed by TWO meals cooked by Cheffie - a true culinary goddess. Expressing my own views, not my organization's.

  18. #18
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    Just to clarify the intention of my post, and to echo the sentiments of the LT from 229, I would also submit that my intention was not to beg for you to leave your TV off.

    The moral of my story was simply that the media machine is rolling on and on, with no regard for the ONGOING lives of the people involved in this tragedy. Caught up in this machine, willingly or unknowingly, are the majority of Americans, who have managed to recapture their pre-9/11 lives.

    They do not care about us. They will tell you over and over that the film on CBS is a tribute to us, and an education for all Americans on the events of that day. The executives at CBS have even publicly declared that the timing is right for this. Who are they to determine that?

    If this is truly a national tribute, patriotic service and an education for all Americans, then why is it sponsored by somebody? Who sponsors the State of the Union Address? How many times is it interrupted for commercial breaks? They are cloaking there own interests in the honorable disguise of serving you. The only thing they are serving is to boost ratings, make money and enhance their reputation in news circles. In other words, to create their OWN celebrity. Don't believe that? I've got two names: Wolf Blitzer and Ashleigh Banfield. The media in America is becoming a self-promoting monster... but that is a topic for another time.

    I recently completed an extended detail at the WTC site, and was often struck by the duality of this entire event. The set of priorites and values that are held by the men working at the site... and those held by those Americans that are no longer connected to these events. I am quite sure that this feeling is the same in the firehouses where men were lost AND in the homes without fathers.

    It is sometimes difficult to watch TV, read the paper or simply watch civilians in public, without being struck by the thought that they either no longer care (relatively few) or don't realize that things are still unbearable for many New Yorkers (huge majority).

    I know lives have to go on, God bless you if you are not haunted by this on a daily basis. I know that if your grandmother died, it would not have a huge affect on my life for an extended period of time. BUT... I also know that when I walked by the funeral home, I would hold my voice down, stop laughing with my pals for a minute and respect the fact that you were grieving. I certainly would not get one of my pals to boost me up so I could peer into a side window at you and your family while you were memorializing your loved one.

    Again, the intention of the post was not to cast blame or ill-will towards anyone here. Our responsibility here though, is to defend the honor of the dead and to protect the sensibilities of the living.

    Think of the topics that my brothers and I have spoken passionately about here. They have a common thread. Disresepect and damage that we perceive to be done to our brothers and their families.

    The flag raising statue debacle.
    The "VIP" viewing platform.
    The preponderance of 9/11 experts and heros, spouting off their stories and exploiting their experiences for attention and/or fame.
    The premature public airing of sensitive WTC related information and general critiquing by fire service members with no knowledge or interest in the events in our city.
    The outcry of firemen who "missed out" on the gala memorial service that was planned (prematurely) and subsequently cancelled (for the right reasons).

    These are examples of issues that concern us for the two major reasons I metioned before: TIMING and MOTIVE. If an issue is raised, and the timing or motive is not one that is in the best interest of THIS job, or our families, or our brothers, then what would you expect us to do?

    You want to help? Then go on about your lives. Enjoy the fact that your daily life is not filled with thoughts of NYC. Watch the show on CBS. BUT... know in your heart, the way that WE feel about things. By understanding our perspectives, hopefully you can educate the Americans around you, thereby lessening the effects of the media related freakshow that my brothers lives are becoming.

    To the brother from 40 & 35, God love you. I know this hurts you brothers downtown a hell of alot more than it hurts most of us.
    Last edited by southbronx; 03-05-2002 at 09:34 AM.

  19. #19
    Forum Member gunnyv's Avatar
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    I agree with all about the media exploitation and lack of manners of many of our fellow citizens. Anyone in the military has felt the same way for years. People pay the lip service to your sacrifice and take you for granted. I'm sure the families of some of the soldiers killed in Somalia feel the same about "Blackhawk Down" as some in the FDNY family feel about the CBS tape. Unfortunately, we live in a selfish society that does not appreciate sacrifice. Our best hope is that they walk away from such a program with awe at the dedication and heroism of those profiled.

    That said, I will bet that CBS will be on that night in almost every firehouse in the U.S. And where it's on, you'll be able to hear a pin drop and there won't be a dry eye in the house, just like when we saw the towers fall on CNN. I work with some guys that don't normally give one s*** about the FD beyond their paycheck, and even they feel the pain of the brotherhood.

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    You guys just don't get it. This wasn't a tragedy, this was the biggest marketing event in years! You are all obviously just mad that you are missing out on all the cash being made by people selling knockoff FDNY hats "Just like Rudy wore" or the tour operators who have added Ground Zero to their routes. I mean, come on it's pretty obvious that you are just ****ed that you didn't think of this first. I mean, if you had only run around with a camera that day - you could be rich! And anyway, if you really don't want the video to be shown, you just could have outbid CBS for it. Seriously, this is a tribute to you and a tool for you to get over your pain. If you don't think so, you obviously aren't in touch with your true feelings like CBS is. So come on, stop wasting time complaining about missed opportunities and put your heads to work thinking of ways you can leverage this into some extra cash (I hear debris from the site is a big item).

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