September 11, 2015

I Remember

Finished the night shift on the 'bolance, picked up a six pack and a frozen pizza, headed back to my apartment in downtown Atlanta for some shut-eye.

Walking in, I took off my boots as I normally do, hung up my duty belt, scratched the cat behind her ears, and put the pizza in the oven.

Having finished my meal and three of the six beers, I turned in for some sleep, laying down around 8am.

My friend and co-worker Sam called.  Sam was a quiet fellow, never given to harsh language or profanity.  His heart was as big as all of Georgia, and his smile was every bit as big, and constant.  Through it all, thick or thin, you could always count on Sam for a soft, gentle voice and a welcoming presence.

"Jeff, you need to get up.  Now, Jeff."

Glancing at the clock.... Not quite 9 am.... what the hell...?

"OK, Sam.  I'm up.  What's going on?"

"Turn on your television."

"OK, what channel?  Sam, what's the problem..."

"It doesn't matter what damn channel.  Just TURN ON YOUR TV!"

Sam, that bastion of quiet, calm, stoicism... He just cussed and yelled.  In the same sentence.  Something is seriousl....

Oh. My. God.

"Get over to my apartment, Sam.  I'll brew some coffee.  I think we're going to be at war."

"I think we've BEEN at war, Jeff.  We just never knew it until now."

I remember.

And I'll never forget.
I will spend my day remembering the men and women who stood 14 years ago today in front of an inconceivable task, grabbed their gear, and charged forward to save others.

I will remember the innocent victims of this cowardly act who never had a chance to get away.

I will remember the soldiers who died in the wars that followed these events.

I will remember the men and women who volunteered their time to help dig through rubble to hopefully save just one more life, many of them died due to medical conditions that were were a result of their presence.

I will remember the giving of help, support, and love.

I remember how many people opened up when needed:  Businesses that opened their doors and handed out meals to those in the rescue efforts.  People who stood in lines to roll up their sleeves and give their own blood for total strangers who were in need.  People across the country who opened their wallets to give to a fund, still the largest single fund from private charitable donations.  

I will remember then untold number of firefighters, police officers, EMS crews, and soldiers who lost their battle years after they left their battlefield because their battlefield never left them, those who were killed by something many will never see or understand, those who were killed by PTSD.

I will NOT spend a second of my day thinking about the cowards who slaughtered 3,000 innocent men, women, and children in the name of their shitty religion. Not a single second. There are 364 other days of the year for me to hope these shit bags rot in an unusually warm corner of hell.  We're coming for you, you sons of bitches.  We've already got a bunch of you.  We'll come get the rest.  

But today, I'll be remembering the ones that matter, I'll be remembering the men and women who chose to change the world for the better.

I remember.  

1 comment:

Old NFO said...

Never will forget. Not in MY lifetime!