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This Job's Not Done

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  • This Job's Not Done

    When I heard news that the city was forcing the fire rescue workers off the site of "ground zero" I was stunned. How could they make that call I wondered? How could the city stand behind such a decision?
    It doesn't matter if it's about the money or if it's because someone decided it was 'time' to treat a 'recovery mission' like a 'clean-up job'...
    none of that matters.
    It has been the policy of the fire department all along to stay with the mission until every brother is recovered and found.
    I hope the politicians come to their senses soon and if they don't I hope the citizens of New York remind them that they are hired 'by the people, for the people'...
    I hope the people insist on allowing you men do your job anyway you decide to do it.

    I wrote this for you. God bless you. Don't you give up now! Don't you quit until every last promise is kept!!

    "A Hill Worth Dying On"
    by Kauilapolu

    Every vow we've made has been tested. Promises are bent like the melted shoulders of these mighty towers. They bow beneath the weight of a fate so consuming that even the bravest warrior is dwarfed in the face of ruin so great only losses can be counted.
    Before us is a mountain of smoldering death. Beneath us the unclaimed bones of our brothers. Yesterday we were heroes, applauded and hailed. Today, we are told we are simply in the way.
    The politics of this great city rises like a Phoenix, it's ugly head screaming "Life must go on!" But beyond this battle we fought to the death, the secret city of our soul remains untouched and intact.
    In the chaos and misery we are fueled by our pain. We mouth the things that we have seen in speechless, heartless ways. We are the nightless stalkers who roam in search of graves, afraid to face the daylight rooms that shine too bright-
    on everything.
    Strolling nightly we visit those who speak in tongues that no one else can hear. Using words that don't exist, we call out to brothers beneath this twilight mist.
    We are men who would have died to save a life; to fight for right. We are men who will not leave, until we've given EVERYTHING.
    So in your plans of politics...in your budget cuts..pencil in a list of men that would not bend their promise or could not break their vows.
    For if you think we'll leave a single brother inside this grave, you must have us confused with the boys of Osama and Saddam Hussein.
    Before we fight for freedom, there is a battle still not won. Before we take Afghanistan, there is a hill worth dying for closer to home.
    To some a pile of rubble, to others an unclaimed grave. To those who were the first to run into those burning towers, these tortured twins...the only fight that matters now is the fight that we WILL win.
    We will NOT leave our brothers here. What is still left SHALL still be saved. This IS the place where good men died, but this WILL not be their GRAVE!
    Sometimes there are battles worth more than just defeat. Sometimes there are ways to lose that only hearts can see.
    If there is a man who thinks a city can be rebuilt on the ghosts abandoned by those they tried to save, then the face of enemies must make room for a man that looks like you.
    Do not step between the men who wear their badge of honor next to their hearts of grief. Until there are no brothers lost beneath this heap of ruin, there will be no tomorrow.
    The destiny of heroes depends on lesser men.
    This IS the hill worth dying for. This IS where war began. As long as one man lies unclaimed beneath this mountain of endless pain, the chain of freedom will snap and break. Abandonment will BE the weakest link.
    The heart of a nation will depend on the way we have measured 5,000 lost women and men.
    The soul of a world will be survive on promise of a few...who would not be divided by one unspoken truth.
    Every lost brother deserves to be found. Every grieving mother deserves her own son. Every child has the right to reclaim a father, every wife, her husband...every brother a sister.
    This job's not done. This fire is NOT out! This city burns but truth will prevail and honor will survive. And no man will come between the duty of heroes and the destiny of their comittment.
    Until THIS heap of rubble in the heart of Manhattan is sifted and cleansed of it's sorrow and death, politicians will be speaking to a future without ears.
    To save what is left to be saved...
    THAT is our call to our own destiny.
    What is left beneath these towers belongs to those who believe in things that death cannot rob. Nothing matters more than the job they already started.
    Time should not move until this promise is kept.
    If America is searching for sense in this senseless act of terror, then we don't need to look far. Beneath the tired beaten faces of the men who pound 'Ground Zero' is a path that returns us back to the source of hope.
    Nothing matters more than love. Nothing lasts as long as a promise. Nothing measures up against the immeasurable capacity for a broken heart to endure as long as there is someone who remembers the sound the world made when before it was shattered.
    We want it back. We want it all. We want what was stolen and we want what is lost.
    Anything less causes us pain. We want what is left of this mess. We want the pieces...every piece, every part of the broken and fractured souls that will not be forgotten and will NOT be left behind.
    To reclaim our dead is our God-given right. No man should dare step between the lost and the survivors. We have been separated by death, but we will NOT be divided or defined by new lines drawn in the ashes of this landscape...not now...not ever.
    So let us take the words of our president who said, "You are either WITH us or AGAINST us!"
    Either HELP us or support us as we continue to hunt for our dead. But if you try to come between promises we intend to keep...then prepare yourself for battle because this is about "Right vs Wrong...Good vs. Evil".
    It is what it is...
    It's about honor and comittment and about not giving up until the job is REALLY done.
    So...brothers..."Let's ROLL!"

    [ 11-09-2001: Message edited by: KauilaPolu ]
    Colleen McQuaid

  • #2
    Wow! Powerful stuff. I have gotten alot from all of your work. Keep it up.
    Shawn M. Cecula
    IACOJ Division of Fire and EMS


    • #3
      Dear Colleen
      On Wednesday I will have to do the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life. I will be giving the oration for my friend Eddie Rall. It has been hard putting to paper what needs to be said but I want you to know I will be copying some of what you posted. Thank you for your words.
      bob g rescue 2


      • #4
        Dear Bob,
        If I have somehow stumbled over words your heart can't seem to find, please know they already belong to you! Should you use something I have written in your oration for your friend, I will be honored and touched in a way you can probably not understand.
        You have made me cry. I expect nothing when I pass along what my heart collects from time to time. I believe we all want to say the same things. Who says it doesn't matter what we say in the face of death? As long as it gets said, THAT is what counts. Well I disagree. What we have to say about someone who is slipping away from us will never matter more!

        How do you say goodbye to a friend, a brother, a comrade, a hero? What words do you use to sum-up a life? How do you tell the world this one man is gone, but the legacy of his spirit deserves to be memorized forever?

        I don't know how to do that. But we can't let them slip away without a sound. We cannot accept their death without punching a hole in the silence of that void their place here on earth has already left.

        To those who knew your friend, no explaination of your grief is needed. To those who will never know him, words will never be enough to fully repaint the essence of who he was.

        To those that grieve, there IS no voice loud enough to express the capacity of our sorrow. But we can't let him go without reminding the world that the loss of this man...this brave and good man...should rock the foundation of EVERY life! He MUST be remembered. His name MUST be spoken often. His stories must be told over and over again.

        Life will never be the same without him, without his brothers who gave their lives for people they would never even know.

        But in the face of this unspeakable sadness, there is a drumbeat of compassion that comes from every corner of this fragile, dented world.

        If I can help you say goodbye to Eddie Rall in a way that makes you feel your heart has had it's say...then God can take take my own voice tomorrow.

        I have written many things (some I posted here). One prayer I included in a piece I wrote goes like this:

        You who pull the oars, who meet the dead, who leave them at the other bank, and glide alone across the reedy marsh, please -
        take my brother's hand as he climbs into the dark hull.
        The shadows trip him, and you see, he is afraid to step there barefoot.
        He is afraid...but goes...for ME!

        God bless you and may He give your heart the voice your soul needs.
        Colleen McQuaid


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