A few months ago Gunnar and I watched a Nova program about 9/11. This was the first time he’s ever really gotten to see the extent of what happened that horrid day so many years ago. He was just a little boy of 7 when it actually happened. He and the other kids were too young to understand so Dave and I tried to shield them from as much of the media coverage as we could.
But this day, a few months ago, he saw it all. He was very quiet as he watched. At one point during the program they show a single firefighter standing on a giant pile of rubble. The sky was grey from all the dust and this firefighter stood on what was once a building, but was now just a pile of cement and debris. It was as if he was standing on the moon. There was no background noise, which is strange for New York. No cabs driving, no people talking, no horns honking, there was only one sound. An erie, high pitched sound that I didn’t recognize.
Gunnar looked up at me and said “That sound is the alarms on the SCBA tanks the Fireman wear.” That firefighter was standing on who knows how many bodies of his fallen brothers. Their alarms still ringing, and there was nothing he could do but stand and listen.
It made me cry. It still makes me cry just to think of it. It was the most haunting thing I’ve seen in my lifetime.
President Obama, and all other presidents who follow, please, we can NEVER forget. We can never forget, in the name of tolerance, that there is an entire group of zealots out there that wish us all dead. They’d happily give up their own lives to see America destroyed.
Let’s not put politics over America’s safety. Over my children’s safety. I don’t ever want it to be my sons who are standing on a pile of rubble listening to the sounds of their fallen brothers.
“Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the children. “
- President George W. Bush, November 11, 2001