Sunday, September 25, 2011

Never Forgetting

Since well before the 10th Anniversary of the September 11th attacks, FFBC had been looking for a way to commemorate the event. It’s been a deeply personal and painful journey this year, for us, and many, many of our friends. We've struggled with what to say, and how to say it. And the truth of the matter is even after 10 years, there are no words that can express the grief, the anger, and the soul consuming sorrow.

We proudly claim some of the absolute Bravest as our dear friends. In addition to our own sorrow, we feel the sorrow of those in the brotherhood. The anger for the unjust treatment of those that are sick today because of the dedication and work they did 10 years ago on the pile. The grief for those lost on that tragic day, and the days since from cancer and other diseases caused by the toxic cloud they were immersed in.

We had planned to be in New York for the 11th, but as fate would have it, Tommy’s hospitalization earlier in the year would change those plans. Instead, Tommy participated in a 110 story stair climb with Texas Firewalkers (I’m so terribly proud of him – he completed 55 floors!), and had the honor of representing those lost from Engine 4, including Paul Tegtmeier, a brother from their Volunteer days in upstate NY. Paul’s life long dream was to get on with FDNY, and had been with them for 18 months on September 11th.

The Heroes of Engine 4:

Calixto Anaya Jr James Riches Thomas Schoales

Paul Tegtmeier

Honoring those lost on FDNY Engine 4

The following morning, he reported in for his chemo treatment. (Dr. wasn't pleased, but wasn't surprised to hear about his stair climb). There was good news -- February is looking like the last round of chemo!!

Our thoughts and prayers continue each day for the family and friends that lost loved ones in the terror attacks, not only in NYC, but also in VA and PA. Your sacrifices will never be forgotten.

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