Today’s news from Arizona, about a wild fire that took half a town and robbed that town of its elite firefighting company, 19 in all, brought painful memories to a New Yorker who recalls all too vividly that horrific day in September, a dozen years ago, when our city was struck through the heart and every community within 60 miles of NYC suffered the loss of fire fighters.
Some three hundred and forty-three men and women firefighters were lost on that day. It was heart-wrenching to see photographs taken mere moments before the buildings fell, of firemen running INTO the buildings.
For this old soul, walking TOWARD danger has come to be my working definition of courage. To do so calmly, with resolute determination is to exhibit fortitude, one of the four cardinal virtues.
For almost a year after September 11, 2001, our newspapers ran a column highlighting the men and women who were lost on that day. Today I am reminded of the title of that column. It was called ‘Everyday Heroes.’
This poem is my way of honoring those brave firefighters who gave their lives yesterday to save their town from a holocaust and all who walk calmly into danger everyday to protect their communities.
they run into the fire
For Carpe Diem ‘fortitude’