My dad is a volunteer firefighter, and Vice President of the company, in Westampton. He asked me to proofread a piece he wrote that will be submitted to their website and possibly used in their new display room that includes a piece of the World Trade Center steel. He gave me carte blanche to edit as I saw necessary, and after a half hour of tweaks and rewriting sentences, this is the result:
It was a day that shook our nation! A day that loved ones were lost, heroes paid the ultimate price, a day our lives changed forever, and a day that showed our spirit, as a nation, was relentless!
We will all remember where we were that day and the fear, the pain, the shock, and the panic we felt. The morning of 9/11, I remember being in work. I am Chief Engineer of a high rise building in Center City. Word of the tragedy spread quickly through the offices. Every television and radio was on and my cell phone was relentlessly ringing. The management and tenants were both trying to find out if we were safe and if the building needed to be evacuated. Since the building includes a bank, we had to prepare the building for, and then set into motion, our lockdown procedures. As the news spread, people were struck with fear as they tried to find out if their families were ok. Philadelphia itself was frenzied and people were running down the streets, frantically looking up. People flooded into the subway systems to get home, experiencing a fear you could have never imagined before that point.
As we secured the building, and dealt with the havoc, it was impossible to imagine what New York was like at this same time. News had been trickling in from Washington, D.C. and western Pennsylvania that more planes had crashed. Despite all of these reports, we worked quickly to secure the building because we did not have time to worry about what was happening. It is still a day in our history that was never expected and hard to believe!
We, as firefighters, lost brothers and sisters who had no choice but to risk their lives in the line of duty. All of the serviceman had no idea of the hell they were about to go into.
The nation mourned 9/11 for long time afterwards. Along with hurting all of the families who lost a loved one, it hurt all the public servants who lost some of their best friends. After the attacks, we dusted ourselves off, let no specter of terror deter us, started to rebuild what we lost, and chased down those who thought they could jeopardize our freedom. They tried but did not break our spirit!
As those buildings crumbled, a nation united. Those symbols did not die that day. Along with the rebuilding of the Freedom Tower, pieces of steel from the original World Trade Centers were salvaged in the cleanup process. These pieces act as a reminder of what happened that fateful September morning and is a visual homage to the firefighters and policemen who lost their lives doing their job. A piece of steel from the World Trade Center now sits in a special room of our firehouse to honor our fallen brothers and sisters. It is a symbol of respect, love, and what we believe in every time we suit up to leave the station. Those who lost their lives on 9/11 will now have a piece of their legacy forever immortalized in Station 27. They may be gone but they will certainly never be forgotten.