No firefighters at the 9/11 memorial event?

A New York City fireman calls for 10 more resc...
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This just doesn’t make sense to me.  First, no religious representatives were being allowed at New York’s 10-year anniversary event commemorating the attacks of September 11, 2001, and now no room is being made for firefighters and other first responders to attend? That’s what I just learned from this (free!) article at the Wall Street Journal, “No Firemen at Ground Zero This 9/11?” written by Michael Burke, the brother of one fireman who died that day.

One of the things that came out of that day that burns in my mind was the terrible way in which America was reminded of what it meant to be a man. That one of the fundamental precepts of our culture used to be “Women and children first,” learned by every American and British schoolboy who was infused with the story of the Birkenhead Drill at a young age. For a brief time after 9/11, it seemed as though some of the best characteristics of manhood were allowed to be claimed by men again, and we were thankful as a nation that actual men still existed.

Those 343 first responders — all of whom were men — who died serving others on 9/11 reminded all of us that there still are men who are willing to run toward whatever everyone else is running away from.

If the opinion article in the WSJ is a true reflection of the planning around the 9/11 remembrance event in New York City, shame on those making those plans.

(For those interested, here is one of the best brief books you will find on the Birkenhead Drill, IMHO: “The Birkenhead Drill” by Douglas F. Phillips of the Vision Forum. For an additional 9/11 entry in this blog, consider this one: “Have we learned the wrong lessons from 9/11?” — a post which also became a 9/11 commentary on the Tomorrow’s World website.  Consider, too, this Tomorrow’s World article on the 10th anniversary of the attack: “Nine-Eleven Plus Ten.”  America and its citizens seem to be failing to learn what we should have from the events of that day ten years ago, and our prophetic date with destiny — and the God who is the Author of Destiny — has come all the closer for it.)

13 thoughts on “No firefighters at the 9/11 memorial event?

  1. obeirne

    A very apt comment, but just to let you know the word you haven’t included the ” word ” before the word special – an inadvertant error no doubt. But it is disgraceful that the firemen and other first responders were EXCLUDED. What kind of people have the power to make decisions like this? The ” lowest of men ” ( Daniel 4:17 ) it seems!

  2. obeirne

    To often I send messages without looking at them before sending and afterward I see glaring omissions – words, letters – and spelling errors. If I could kick myself!!!

  3. Norbert

    I don’t know what all the logistics would be for the memorial and concidering what the author of the article wrote, I don’t have a clear picture of what is exactly transpiring either.

    His office says that because of the number of victims’ family members attending there’s not enough room to accommodate first responders at Ground Zero that day, though “we’re working to find ways to recognize and honor first responders, and other groups, at different places and times.”

    So would a firefighter who puts his life on the line for someone else, is that the kind of man who would take a seat away from someone who is a family member of one of the victims?

  4. Thanks, Norbert. I think the author of the article (who would be invited, being a family member of a victim) answered that when he said that first responders will likely say nothing at all. At least I think I remember him saying something like that — can’t see the article at the moment.

    But to fail to plan for a place for those who struggled along side the fallen first responders who were in their unit, etc. makes no sense to me and would demonstrate an ignorance of the “family” nature many of them share with one another. I, too, would like to give the benefit of a doubt: hopefully you are right and it is a simple matter of logistic impossibilities as opposed to the same moronic thinking that excludes any religious representatives from being involved (ensure inclusion through exclusion being the tactic there).

  5. Steve

    Maybe first responders could show up anyway, just like they did ten years ago. Would that be considered poor manners?

  6. obeirne

    I was wondering how many politicians and officials were allocated space. There would have no need to have any politicos other than the mayor – and perhaps not even him – or any need for ” official ” New York to have a presence. Public relations exercises are a delicate process and it can prove costly to those who misuse it. Such people are people, to quote a famous aphorism, who ” know the price of everything and the value of nothing “.

  7. Howdy, GreyTips: I’m writing to let you know that I did not allow your comment because of what it seemed to me to suggest, though perhaps I misunderstood it due to its brevity. Still, thanks for stopping by!

  8. GreyTips

    Censorship is a tool that works against you. But free will says you’re allowed to use it. 🙂 May the light shine brightly on you always 🙂

  9. To the nice writer Norbert, you do know firefighters had brothers die in the towers that day. So they were not only emergency responders, they were also family members of people that died. They deserve a seat at the ceremony. Actually more than any politician. [Portion deleted. WGS]

  10. Greetings, Mr. Heffner, and thanks for your comment. I removed the unnecessary rude comment at the ending (as per my comment policy). You presume too much of Norbert. He simply questioned the logistics of the event and noted that the first responders are probably of such character that if there was only one seat available and if it was a choice between him (the first responder) and someone in the person’s biological family, the first responder would likely give up that seat. The nature of what they do is put others before self. Would you fault him for pointing out this fact?

    Please don’t be so quick to assume the worst of people, and if you must then do not comment here. And thanks for the rest of your comment. It’s a very good point.

  11. If I may be so bold, Mr. Smith, I’d like to post my own little memorial to the event: a bit of blank verse, meant to have childlike simplicity (given where I was and what I was doing at the time):


    My first day of teaching:
    September 11th.
    Little did I know what
    my first lesson would be:
    not English from a book,
    but Hist’ry being made.

    How does one tame such fear?
    Middle-school ignorance
    widened their eyes as we
    watched the televised loops;
    innocence died a bit
    with ev’ry falling tear.

    How to explain such hate?
    Dare one say that not all
    we hold dear is worthy?
    Not today, I should think;
    better to say now that
    success breeds enemies.

    © 2002 (יוחנן רכב)

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