Sunday, September 11, 2011

9-11-2001 - Heroes Among Us

On September 11th 2001, hijackers cowardly took control of 4 planes along the eastern seaboard of the United States.  Two of them flew into the two World Trade Center towers in New York City, 1 was flown into the Pentagon and the 4th was crashed into the ground in Shanksville, PA.  2,977 people were killed and more than 6,000 were injured in the attacks including those of United Flight 93 who did NOT allow the hijackers on their plane to reach their destination (believed to be either the Capitol Building or the White House).  Todd Beamer’s words “Let’s Roll!” were felt and understood long before they were ever heard by most Americans. 

As the news reports came fast and furious over the airwaves, my fellow Marines and I stood in a state of shock.  How could they have hit us here…at home?  I remember that I was ordering parts for a tank engine rebuild when the initial reports came over the radio.  I thought it was a joke because the show I was listening to, Lex and Terry was that kind of show.  When the news broke in to cover it we knew it was for real.  It took less than two hours for the towers to fall and for us to really get a grip on what happened.  Almost immediately, every Marine looked at one another and you could hear the words of Todd Beamer without even knowing that he’d said them, the Marines were ready, “Let’s Roll”.

By 10:00AM there was a signup sheet for volunteers to deploy whenever and wherever we were needed.  My name was the 3rd on the list and within the next 20 mins every member of my unit had joined me.  We might have been mechanics and not war fighters but we were ready to do our part and put our lives on the line because we knew it was the right thing to do.  Some of those names on the list left in the weeks and months following for Afghanistan but the majority of those of us who were called upon from GSM Co., 2nd Maintenance Battalion, 2nd Force Service Support Group left in December of 2002 and January of 2003 for Iraq.  

Some of those names never made it home.  They were my friends and my brothers.  I consider them casualties of 9-11 as I do all of the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines who gave their lives so that we could all be free.  I think every day, but especially on this day about my brothers and sisters in the police, fire and EMS fields, the first responders who run INTO the burning buildings as most of us run out of them and who stand in the line of fire to ensure that we don’t get hit.  Our military and our first responders are heroes to be sure but let us never, EVER forget that if it weren’t for 40 brave men and women who woke up on 9-11-2001 and get on an airplane, there would be another building destroyed.  40 men and women who understood that THEY had the opportunity to save thousands of lives and who made the decision to sacrifice their own to save the lives of countless others.  For me, Flight 93’s passenger list is a list of absolute heroes.  I will never forget, WE will never forget. 
Please visit the following link and give what you can to build a memorial honoring the passengers of Flight 93 for their heroism and sacrifice:

No comments:

Post a Comment