It has been 4,207,680 minutes since 9:59am on September 11, 2001. It was on that clear, crisp, perfectly blue skied Tuesday September morning where blood from all nations was spilled on American soil for the first time since the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. My city, our nation, and everyone’s world was irrevocably changed.
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
For me, the heralds of that change was the sound through the dust cloud that had consumed me of American fighter jets above the city skies. To others that change was evident by what they saw on television, or maybe the longer security checkpoints at airports. Perhaps it was the so called political scare tactics they were subjected to attempting to justify the limiting of civil liberties, or even hugging their loved ones goodbye to fight the proverbial “war on terror” that has resulted in the spilling of more blood than I think anyone had ever expected. For others it was perhaps that they realized that the masses would be held accountable for the actions of a few and that middle age prejudices continue to run deeper than originally thought in the “melting pot”.
That’s not what today is about. Today is not about remembering the evil that a person is capable of, the inconvenience of air travel, real estate deals, politicians we elected not preserving or rights and freedoms, the incineration of books that have committed no crime, or the attempted gentrification of a religion. You have 364 other days for all that.
Today is about remembering the conscious sacrifice made by one for another in their greatest time of need without regard for race, creed, or political beliefs. Today is about remembering that while all sacrificed some… there are those who sacrificed all. I ask that you remember this today and leave everything else for another time.
It has been 4,733,280 minutes since the South Tower of the World Trade Center at Liberty Street and West Street collapsed. I ask that you specifically remember the following nine Emergency Medical Service Responders who perished in that collapse:
volunteer Zhe Zang
my friend Mario Santoro
my friend and vollie dispatcher Richard Pearlman
and my friend and partner Yamel Merino
All sacrificed some… some sacrificed all… so that others may live