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From the Heart

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  • From the Heart

    From the Heart

    It tears me apart that I would not have met any of you if the terrorists had not struck September 11th. My life would not be the same.

    It tears me apart the pain and anguish those of you who were at the WTC (and at the Pentagon and Shanksville) have had to experience. And will likely always live with.

    It tears me apart that when a good friend has a birthday it just makes me bawl my eyes out. It tears me up that I can’t acknowledge that friend’s birthday without hurting him because of the devastating loss he has experienced. (Then it makes me feel like **** the next day that I DIDN’T and everyone else does LOL) but I remember the reaction from last year and didn’t want to cause more pain. Ray, I was thinking of you.

    Since I can’t be in NYC to pay my respects in person, I decided to write this for all of you, my friends in the Fire/Ems services around the world instead. I’m not a fancy writer. No poems, just feelings from my heart.

    So where to start? That morning. I slept (then as now) on my sofa in the living room, with my computer on a TV stand on wheels so I can kick back and relax with my feet up *grin*

    When I went to bed I left the computer on, in Pogo games, on automatic spin, and turned the monitor off. (my screen name is NeverForget5555 if any of you play in Pogo.com)

    I woke up at 6:48am. OK I had to go to the bathroom lol, although I’m not sure how long I sat there in horror before I could tear myself away. I sat up, turned the monitor on and kinda did the “just woke up zombie stare” at the screen. After a few seconds my brain engaged and I could tell something was wrong (all pogo games come with a chat room so you can play and/or chat at the same time). I typed “What? What are you all talking about?” and was told to turn the TV on. I did, and I watched the horror unfold from 5 minutes after the first plane hit. I sat with my hand over my mouth, cried in disbelief over and over my god oh my god oh my god. When the first tower came down I knew, I knew right away there must be hundreds of firefighters lost. I sat glued to the TV, minute after minute, hour after hour, week after week. I KNEW they would find someone alive. I KNEW some firefighters could survive, maybe even some victims could survive. I thought of the earthquakes. 14 days I thought to myself later. Day 3, day 7, Day 12 there is still hope. No hope. More tears. After about 3 weeks or a month my friends begged me to turn the TV off. I couldn’t. I had to have every new piece of information. I turned to the computer for answers, for info. Of course you all know about the emails and memorials that bombarded the internet in the days and weeks following the attacks.

    Backing up for a minute. Most of you know I live across from Calgary’s Fire Station #2. My 16th floor balcony overlooks the back parking lot/back bay doors. Actually a few months after September 11th I moved my furniture around to get a better view of the mountains and lo and behold that includes a view of the station hehehe Well and I was tired of being on display to the tenants in the other tower. Before September 11th I barely knew firefighters existed. I certainly didn’t have the interest and knowledge and involvement that I do now. Not to say I didn’t have ANY interest or knowledge. My brother was a volunteer firefighter in my hometown of Jasper for many years. So the fascination has always been there in the background.

    What struck me that horrible day was the silence, and the empty sky. I didn’t hear the trucks go out all day until maybe 4 or 5pm. When I did hear those sirens my heart jumped and all I could think was “please be safe, oh please be safe”. Terror. It was pure terror that whole afternoon waiting for that last plane to be found. Even after the 4th plane crashed in Shanksville there were some reports that a 5th plane was missing. Air traffic all over North America was banned. Planes were being diverted into Calgary. Not as many as Vancouver and the east coast, but still. It was scary. It was eerie not having the normal jet traffic one sees in a city the size of Calgary every day. And then a few days later when the first jet flew right over top my building I just about **** myself, it was so loud.

    OK so back to the computer. In my search for info I stumbled across the Fire Command and Chat room after finding the unofficial website of the FDNY. I met FDNYRR there and we became friends. (Jon we miss you! Feel free to post once in awhile, even maybe clean out your PMs once in awhile hehehe) RR put a forth a plea in the chat for help with the petition for the Flag Raising Sculpture. I took the petition over to #2 to ask the Captain to show the petition to his men and to spread the word. This is where it kinda makes you go hmmmmmmm @ fate. The captain on duty happened to be involved with the Calgary Firefighters Museum Society. After promising to show the petition to his men, Gord and I got to talking and I asked him if he happened to know anything about the Firefighters Museum. He’s the Recording Secretary and of course he said they needed volunteers and invited me to a meeting. Being involved with the Museum has really changed my life. I’ve met a lot of active and retired firefighters and I love being a part of Calgary’s firefighting family.

    RR also hooked me up with Firehouse.com forums. I lurked for a long time and in May, 2002 finally registered. (1000+ posts later here we are omg I have NO LIFE eeeek)

    I posted an article about a ****ing mutt who was caught impersonating a FDNY firefighter. And so I met E40FDNYL35. Ray you made it all so personal. So real. I will never forget the things you’ve shared with me. I value our friendship deeply.

    One thing led to another and I met the rest of you who are so important to me Gonzo, E299Lt, hfd66truck, MOTOWN, Flying Kiwi, Chief Reason (thanks for sharing your books with me), Wayne, CJ, drkblram, the BC crowd, all the flatlander boys (yeah even you Jay LOL), Down under & sideways (Kiwi you got 2 mentions wow), Tanker, Bones, Cheffie, Captstan, the Brits across the sea, STAYBACK, NJ and on and on LOL. Those of you who are important to me know who are you. I think. *rolleyes @ self* Sorry if I missed anyone special I can’t possibly list all of you. manofire here in Calgary gets an honorary mention even if he won’t tell me his first name LOL. Thanks, my friend, for the advice about attending Fire Cadet Layla’s funeral.

    I have learned so much about the fire service since I started coming to Firehouse.com and by association IACOJ. Thanks for answering all my crazy questions when I don’t understand something. Thanks for continuing to recommend books for me to read.

    It means so much to me that you all have included me in your firefighting family and in your lives. Some of you are real friends and I value your friendships very much. The rest of you I respect your opinions and hope to get to know you better in the future. All the newcomers to IACOJ, welcome to the family. ArmyFireRescue, you too get an honorable mention. Although we haven’t talked, I have read your posts since you joined Firehouse and IACOJ and just want to say thank you! Your insights add a new dimension to the forums. So from another Canadian who supported the war in Iraq, THANKS for what you are doing.

    Sooooooooo, you all understand the guilt now? Why it breaks my heart to have met all of you BECAUSE of September 11th.

    I will never forget. The tears will never end. I will never stop reading the books and looking at the 911 memorials (although ALL my favs were lost and I’ll probably never be able to replace them all).

    It is my way of honoring those that gave their lives September 11th.

    NEVER FORGET

    OK enough mushy stuff

    Take care and STAY SAFE

    Sher


    omg clicking the submit button is SO HARD *cringe*
    Last edited by RspctFrmCalgary; 09-12-2003, 02:06 PM.
    September 11th - Never Forget

    I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

    Sheri
    IACOJ CRUSTY CONVENTION CHAIR
    Honorary Flatlander

    RAY WAS HERE FIRST

  • #2
    Thank you for sharing that. From such disasters some
    amazing things come out. The way the whole world (minus
    a few dirtbag zelots) bonded together. The sence of unity around the
    country and the world. I am sure you would have run across some
    of the people on this forum one way or another. 9-11 just guided
    us all together.So dont be upset about being here because of 9-11
    be proud of what you have done and glad for all the people you have
    met and the good you have done in spite of what the murdering pr*cks
    did on that heart wrenching day . you must have started a trend -
    I am having a hard time pushing the submit button..
    I will deny having a heart and blame it on lack of sleep lol

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