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More 9/11 - The Fire Fighters This Time - Mo's Journal
September 11th, 2007
07:51 pm

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More 9/11 - The Fire Fighters This Time
One of my 9/11 traditions is to bring flowers to our local fire house. It's a special operations squad - Squad One - that has extra training in getting people out of high rise buildings. So they were of course on the spot on 9/11. It was shift change time, and the guys who had just finished joined the ones who were just starting - they knew everyone was needed.

Friday of that week we had a candlelight procession in our neighborhood to Squad One where everyone who lived in Park Slope, it seems, thanked the surviving firefighters and mourned the twelve from our fire house who died. The fire house is next to our food coop so I go by it often but on 9/11 I go there specially and leave flowers and a note.

I left lillies today. This year's note said:

On this sixth anniversary of the day our whole world changed, I bring a small
offering. I bring it in memory of the brave souls who died six years ago today
and in honor of the brave souls who survived and continue to do this important work. May G-d
preserve and protect the firefighters of New York City, who preserve and
protect us all. Please know that our gratitude is undiminished.


It's pretty much last year's note with the numbers changed. I thought it was a good one - said what I wanted to say.

I don't romanticize and idolize fire fighters. They're not perfect people; a lot of them are macho blowhards. But there is something so purely good about the work they do. To run into a burning building to save the life of a stranger is an act of heroism at least as much as it is a job. It transcends and exists apart from the political uses this horrible event was put to. It is a huge tragedy to have lost so many of them at once. When the first tower collapsed, there was at least one fire fighter at the crash site, pulling victims out. That means he ran up 70 flights of stairs in less than an hour, with heavy equipment. And then he died.

Doran went to preschool in Battery Park City, right behind the World Trade Center. There was a firehouse across the street from the WTC, and we walked by it en route from our bus to school. The guys used to let him wear their hats or sit in the trucks if we were early for school. He called them "my fire fighter friends." They were the ones who rescued people in the first World Trade Center bombing and we baked cookies for them as a thank you. I don't know that any of them survived 9/11.

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From:melty_girl
Date:September 12th, 2007 12:40 am (UTC)
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Why did I think you were in Boston? Wow. I know exactly which firehouse you mean. On 9/11/01, I lived nearby in Prospect Heights, and I was a Food Coop member.

You put it very aptly about firefighters. It does transcend the political. But right now I'm angry because of a newscast I heard where some politician at the memorial was going on about enemies and how we must always stand against them. That's not what I take from this anniversary.
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From:mofic
Date:September 12th, 2007 12:46 am (UTC)
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Wow! I had no idea you lived here. We probably passed each other on the street sometimes. Did you go to the vigil that Friday night?

I live on First Street, between Fifth and Sixth.

I hate the politicization of this tragedy. I hate how the administration has used and misused our misery. And I think it's really telling that the vast majority of the people in the places directly affected - NYC and DC - voted to oust Bush, even as he claimed to be waging war to protect us.
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From:melty_girl
Date:September 12th, 2007 05:56 am (UTC)
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I used to live in Brooklyn, but I moved back to Cali at the end of 2005. From 2000-2005 I lived on Washington Avenue a few blocks from the Brooklyn Museum.

Good point about the vote!
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From:libgirl
Date:September 12th, 2007 03:08 am (UTC)
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I've been thinking about this day for many reasons.

Thank you for sharing your experiences with us.
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From:mofic
Date:September 13th, 2007 12:01 pm (UTC)
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Thank you for reading them.
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From:talktooloose
Date:September 12th, 2007 05:50 pm (UTC)
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"Macho blowhards" as opposed to "Femmy blowgentlies." Sorry, couldn't resist.

Thank you for the pieces of 9/11. This far away, I find I want to downplay the events of that day as if they were all just a piece of Bush propoganda. That, of course, means forgetting my own horror as it unfolded that morning and for the following days. But as the years go by, I have to remember sometimes that it happened to real people in a city I love.

I wish you and your family (chosen and otherwise) a happy and healthy new year. May the challenges of life never prevent us from tasting its sweetness.

Shana Tova.
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From:mofic
Date:September 13th, 2007 12:01 pm (UTC)
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Thank you, J. What a lovely thought. Shana Tovah to you, too.
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