Saluting To The Unsung Heroes Of 9/11, First Responders Deserve Respect

I apologize this article is a bit late in coming, but it hits home nonetheless (that said, you’ve been warned; there’s a good chance you’ve heard enough of this topic by now). I’m talking about is September 11th, a date which hits all too close to home for many of us. The anniversary of this tragic attempt on America’s freedom, life and values on which this great nation stands just passed. Thank God the terrorists were unsuccessful.What most people don’t realize (or forgot shortly after the mass patriotism which followed the event), is the immense sacrifice so many people in America make on a day-to-day basis, just so you and I can walk safely to class, have fun on a Friday night on Broad Street or visit places like New York City without the fear of dying any minute. These people surround us and are often overlooked: the people who make up our EMS, Fire, Police and military forces. While most people were running from the twin towers, there were others running to it. Too many of us don’t realize the ultimate sacrifice others are willing to offer on a daily basis so that we may continue to live our lives unaware of the evil lurking outside (and at times, inside) our borders.Even though it’s three years later, it’s important that we don’t forget our past and those that sacrificed their lives so we may live more enriched ones. I don’t intend to take you on a guilt trip or rehash the Twin Towers for the umpteen billionth time, but I do think it’s fair that on the anniversary of such an event we honor and pay our respects to those that have died for us. The Twin Towers represented so much of America, and for the first time another nation attacked not only those forces trained to meet them but thousands of innocent, unarmed, unsuspecting civilians. The terrorists unjustly chose to cut short the lives of fathers, mothers, grandchildren, CEO’s, janitors, pilots, athletes, brilliant businessmen and even the delivery boy. More American lives were taken that day than in the entire Gulf and Iraqi wars combined (consider that fact next time Bush’s poor leadership comes up in conversation, but that’s a whole other issue for). They took lives ruthlessly, savagely and without remorse or apology; they took lives to make a point – that America can be brought to its knees. Somehow they thought removing two of America’s symbols of freedom and commerce would quench the undying fire of America’s spirit. Thankfully, they were wrong. Although those towers contained the lives of many great Americans, what the terrorists did not understand is that our undying love of freedom, liberty, religion and pursuit of happiness did not reside in the World Trade Center. Rather it lives inside all of those who embrace and believe the American dream, those who believe we can rebuild and reunite in an effort to push back those that oppress us, attack those that will harm us and unite with those that defend us. While the American dream of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness lives on in each of us (just look at our nation’s rebuilding, camaraderie and brotherhood), let us also not forget to pay our respects to both those that died, and those that continue to protect and serve us, so we may live each day a little safer, attend another lecture, eat another meal at Frank, and give back to the community which has so richly blessed us.A little close to home, this means the men and women in the Hamilton Fire Department, EMS, Police and yes even our very own Campus Safety (many of whom are also Hamilton police, in case you first-year thought they couldn’t arrest you for walking around with that bong). These people are trained to run into a burning building, perform lifesaving operations on-scene, or apprehend those that wish to harm us. They deserve a big a Thank You – it’s the least we can do. So next time you see a Campus Safety Officer, EMT or Firefighter, make sure to stop and say hello; it’s the most thanks they get for an often thankless job.That said, here’s a huge Thank You to all those who died during the atrocities of September 11, 2001. You will not be forgotten.