I don’t want to miss talking about 9/11. It’s like a holy day for me now. I’ll never forget where I was or what I was doing when it happened. The unsettling feeling when I realized my country was under attack. Today my daughter reminded us what we did on that day. I picked her up from school, she had no idea what was going on. We watched the TV coverage and we watched a couple holding hands and jumping. What horror was behind them for that to be the better option. We went to church with Sarah’s grandma and Aunt Lisa and her kids to pray and light candles. I was inspired to want to do something, anything to help but I didn’t know what to do. So, I donated blood, helped pack supplies to send to the workers, helped stuff a firefighter boot with cash to donate.
My son Tommy, it was that day that determined his path in life. He knew he was going to devote his life to public service. He was living with me when he became a firefighter, soon to become one of the youngest officers in his department. He is an excellent firefighter/first responder, because he was also an EMT. I watched on television as he and his department pulled a woman out of the lake after a helicopter crash. I remember his first auto fatality and how he couldn’t speak the rest of the day. I remember his first accident involving another firefighter and his daughter, I remember the first time he went to a firefighter’s funeral. 343, the number of firefighters and paramedics who died that day. I will never forget that because my son will always remind me.