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LOCAL PERSPECTIVE: Editorial

9/11

The Hero Inside of You

On the radio, this morning, there was a guest who was a first responder during 9-11-01 recovery. He reminisced about the time when he received a call from the father of a woman who had died at the World Trade Center. The father was so happy to report that the hipbone of his daughter was found so that he had something of her to bury.

We must remember that some survivors longed for any possessions that would identify their loved ones who perished on that fateful day, whether it be in the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, or Shanksville, P.A.

During the 9-11-01 Remembrance Ceremony at City Hall Circle, there was always one individual who spoke who was not there. That was the late Fire Chief Abraham Pitre. I recall him with much emotion saying how frightful it was to go to the World Trade Center because of not knowing what they were encountering. He became even more emotional when talking about searching for his dear friend, Firefighter Richard Rodriguez. We take solace in knowing that they are reunited again.

Watching parts of the 9-11-01 Service in New York, it was very moving to listen to those who were not even born reading the names of those who perished. Some of those youngsters said that they were proud that they were named in memory of their deceased relatives.

At the Perth Amboy Ceremony, Retired Detective, and United States Recon. Marine Jesus Martinez said that his son was inspired by September 11, 2001 to join the marines. He stated that his son is a Marine Sniper now. “I’m sure that Mayor Diaz’s son is also inspired by 9-11-01 to join the service.” Martinez also thanked the Mayor, “For being very supportive of always having a September 11, 2001 Remembrance Service that we never forget.”

All the speakers all had one thought in common: that events whether it be September 11, 2001 or any other attacks (whether it be terrorism or a force of nature) on the United States, we (whether we’re ordinary citizens, first responders or in all different walks of life or professions) are stronger together than divided. Look at the response of people in reaction not only to natural disasters in the United States, but all over the world. When push comes to shove, we show what we are truly made of. Through the Grace of God is when we become those heroes.

To quote President Ronald Reagan after the Challenger Explosion: “The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and “slipped the surly bonds of earth” to “touch the face of God.”” (January 28, 1986 – Speech written by Peggy Noonan).

In my heart, when those people perished on 9-11-01 on what was a beautiful morning, they did touch the face of God.

Personally, for myself, there are 2 songs that say it all: “United We Stand,” by the Brotherhood of Man; “He Ain’t Heavy – He’s My Brother,” by Bob Russell and Bobby Scott, Sung by the Hollies.

We will have more remarks and photos next issue. C.M. 

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