I usually don’t know how to feel this time of year. I am a mix of emotions. I usually keep to myself and I guess maybe my trip to NYC tomorrow night as me thinking more so I sat down and wanted reflect and share my thoughts.
It was 11 years ago; I was in 10th grade, had just turned 16 and was officially a firefighter for a whole 15 days. I remember watching it in school on the TV, remembering one of my friends who came into the lunch room crying bc her dad had been working in NYC that day and was worried (he was ok). I remember coming home and watching the firefighters on TV and the news channels replaying the footage over and over again. As the year went on, I learned of my Uncles involvement in that day, working in the air traffic control tower in NY, watching that days events unfold. I remember the Olde Fashion Christmas Parade that December, how the crowds reacted as we marched thru the streets of West Chester. And as the years past and I grew in the fire service I learned about some of those brave firefighters and have read and re-read many of the surviving stories that came out of that day.
So far this year has been a pretty crappy year, a lot of sad has happened. I lost my Grandmother to cancer, the West Chester Fire Department lost a great firefighter, the Goshen Fire Company lost a great EMT, and another Firefighter/EMT has started a battle with that terrible disease. And as bad as all this has been, all these events have pulled a lot of people together.
In the 11 years as a West Chester Fire Department Firefighter I don’t remember the department being as close as we are right now and I hope that doesn’t change any time soon. I am very proud to a member of a great organization knowing that no matter what I have 100+ “guys” that have my back.
The past 11 years as a firefighter has taught me so much about both professional and personal aspects of my life. I haven’t had as much time as I had in the past to give to the fire service as I start other ventures in my life. I am still a proud firefighter and no matter what I do or where I might go I will always be a firefighter, its in my blood and part of me.
I am very thankful to have the relationships that I do, my parents and my siblings are the best and as a family I feel we have been closer now then we ever have. I am thankful for my jobs being able to work a full time and start my part time photography business and all the support I have had along the way from all my family and friends.
This time of year everyone posts not to forget. I don’t forget and I never will. I have this thing where at least a couple times a week throughout the year when I look at the clock and it is either 9:11 AM or 9:11 PM. I instantly get chills and for a short moment I reflect and thankful for what I have.
Please continue to remember the events, all of the lives that were lost that day, the hundreds of firefighters that have since died from the various health issues from working at ground zero and most importantly all of our current soldiers who have fought, are currently fighting and have died protecting our freedom.
I am proud to be an American!!