Remembering and Honoring

Remembering and Honoring

While writing a new post this morning to honor those who lost their lives and who lost loved ones on 9/11, I found myself struggling to say something new, something original. But all my thoughts and words echoed what I wrote two years ago in the re-post to follow and in the post I wrote last year at this time. My sentiments about that day have remained unchanged. 

This morning, my husband once again awoke at dawn to raise his uncle’s flag in memory of his fallen firefighter brothers, as he will continue to do every year as long as he is able. 

We will never, ever forget. 

Originally posted 9/11/10
Today, we remember those who died or lost loved ones in the September 11, 2001 attack.

In this house, we feel a particular sorrow for the civil servants who gave their lives trying to save others.

My husband Bill has been a firefighter since he was 19 years old. On 9/11, I saw such deep despair and bewilderment on his face when we learned that hundreds of firefighters, 343 to be exact, lost their lives at the World Trade Center.

While witnessing the events of that day unfold on television, Bill decided he had to do something; to take some kind of action. He went to the garage and retrieved his Uncle Bill’s flag, which had been draped over his Uncle’s coffin, a war veteran, many years before.

Bill hung this large flag on the electric pole near the street. Cars passing by, not only on our dead-end street but on the highway nearby, could see. Some of our neighbors later told us how powerful it was seeing the flag on that day and days following.

This morning, a Saturday, when Bill could sleep in as late as he wants, he awoke at 6:00 to once again hang Uncle Bill’s flag.

Firefighters are one big international family. We even stopped by a fire station in Paris and were given a warm welcome and an impromptu tour of the station.

When one firefighter is lost, especially in the line of duty, it affects every firefighter. Imagine the immense impact of losing 343 at once.

We remember and honor all who lost their lives on 9/11. But there is a special place in our hearts and souls for the firefighters, police, paramedics and other civil servants who died on that day.

When you meet a firefighter, police officer,
or anyone who holds a position in emergency services,
thank them for what they do to keep you and your loved ones safe.
Not just today, but any day.
XO,
Adrienne

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14 Comments

  1. September 11, 2012 / 7:48 am

    Adrienne,
    My heart is fuller after reading your post. It is difficult at times to really allow the full gravity of what happened to those 343 and those that loved them. I think that is what completely slays me; thinking of all those children and wives, left without their anchor and their hero. As the wife of a Fire Chief myself, I carry that knowledge and weight with heartache and some anxiety.
    I love what your husband has chosen to do on a public and somewhat private level to honor those lost. His action exposes his humanity, integrity, and character.
    Thank you,
    Sara

  2. September 11, 2012 / 8:25 am

    Adrienne, you bring a unique and needed perspective to this day. Thank you for sharing. I just taught my broadcast class and am still amazed how many teens do not fully understand what happened. I always show footage to make sure they will have a new view of it. We must encourage the younger generation to learn, appreciate, and remember.

  3. September 11, 2012 / 9:14 am

    It is so sad to think back on this day eleven years ago. At work I looked down at my watch, saw the date (I did know it was today) and time which was almost exactly when it happened–it took me straight back to that day, the horror of that day. Hard to believe this much time has gone by and the memory is so alive.

  4. September 11, 2012 / 9:40 am

    So beautiful. I’m drying my eyes right now. Thank you.

  5. September 11, 2012 / 12:00 pm

    Amen. Please give Bill a hug and a thank you from me today.

    Cindy

  6. September 11, 2012 / 12:48 pm

    Here on the other side of the world, we remember and honour them too. I was amazed yesterday when I asked my roll call group to spend some time being solemn and respectful. A few of them asked what I was talking about. they are only 14 years old, and we forget that they couldn’t possibly remember that time. I explained and they listened, but still makes me wonder if they have a full understanding of why we have so many military away in Afghanistan and the like. I think I shall have to spend some time setting up a display in the Library about it so they can learn and “get it”.

  7. September 11, 2012 / 1:16 pm

    Thank you for the reminder. I was working in the ER that day as and EMT doing my Paramedic clinicals. I won’t ever forget that feeling of disbelief when I saw the towers fall on one of the hospital TV waiting rooms. I won’t ever forget the heavy feeling in my chest.

  8. September 11, 2012 / 5:58 pm

    Beautiful, Adrienne! xxoo

  9. September 11, 2012 / 6:03 pm

    This is the first time I’ve read this lovely post…and I was very moved by Bill’s impulse to act on what must almost inarticulate feelings he must have.

  10. September 11, 2012 / 7:00 pm

    My dear Adrienne, what a powerful and heart felt post…it brought me to tears. As my son prepares for a career in firefighting…it brings all of this so much closer to home for me. The realization of the daily choice to put one’s self on the line… in the protection of others. From the bottom of my heart…please tell your husband…thank you.

  11. September 11, 2012 / 7:20 pm

    We have firefighters in our inner circle of friends and know that they put their lives on the line every shift that they work.
    Sept. 11th will forever be etched in my mind as I woke to see the TV coverage and stared in disbelief as the towers crumbled and so many perished.

    Please say thank you to your husband… from Victoria, BC Canada

  12. September 12, 2012 / 8:35 pm

    Always – thank you.

  13. September 14, 2012 / 5:38 am

    As a New Yorker, I will forever have the number 343 engraved on my mind and heart. I still cannot believe those men went up that stairwell, in both towers, to get people out. Meanwhile my architect husband told me only an hour into the chaos of that day that the buildings would collapse, he said steel cannot take that heat for an extended period of time and he knew the planes would burn and burn because of all the fuel in the fuselage. It seems to me then, that the firefighters knew the buildings would collapse too, which makes their struggle to save people even more mind-blowingly heroic. Firefighters are an amazing breed and I have the utmost respect for what they do. XO, Jill

  14. September 20, 2012 / 4:56 am

    Your post is so touching and emotional. We will remember them all forever. God bless America.

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