No Politics Today

My brother became a fireman a few years ago. He’s my younger brother, but now I look up to him. He’s the father of my beloved nephews, including my godson. He’s an outdoorsman who enjoys hiking in places like the Utah mountains. People think my stories are compelling but I just know how to dress them up. His stories are riveting just because of what they relate. Pulling people out of burning cars. Getting altitude sickness on top of a mountain. Resuscitating the dead.

I will never forget the horror of watching the towers fall knowing they were full of human beings. 343 paramedics and firefighters died on 9/11. 23 NYPD officers were killed. 37 Port Authority Police officers were killed. When the rest of the world was paralyzed with shock these people were trying to rescue civilians. At least two firefighters were known to have made it up as high as the 78th floor. The word ‘hero’ is sorely overused in our culture. There were many heroes that day at the Pentagon and on Flight 93. But there is something about the sacrifice of the firefighters that touches me as especially sacred.

Every day people get out of bed and change the world. Every day people make quiet sacrifices and commit silent heroism just by doing their job. Our safety, security, and comfort to complain about the petty things is a direct result of the labor of other people. Today is a good day to be especially mindful of this. Today is a good day to appreciate the service and sacrifices of those who would run into a burning skyscraper to save us. Go hug a firefighter and kiss a cop.

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