Message from the NVFC Chair on 9/11/2019

Today we remember the nearly 3,000 innocent lives that were taken on September 11, 2001. I remember where I was when the first word came, when the events unfolded and when those towers collapsed – and I know many of you have those memories as well. My first thoughts when the first tower collapsed was just a stunning realization of how many firefighters had likely died in that instant.

Last night in my department we conducted aerial operations training – in Hoxie, KS – far from being a major metropolitan center, but we remembered and honored the 343 firefighters and 71 law enforcement officers that died that day in our own special way by climbing the ladder. It is a very small tribute to what not only our brothers in red and blue gave that day, but also to the firefighters, medics, and police officers who protect us each day, the countless men and women of the military who preserve our freedoms including the many who have given the ultimate sacrifice, the untold numbers of survivors of 9/11 who deal with the psychological and physical trauma of the day, every day, and, most importantly the families of those that are left behind.

We say we will “Never Forget,” but many have already forgotten the sacrifices of that day and the sacrifices that continue to surface every day among the survivors. This is the challenge I have for you this day: Say a prayer for those that continue to deal with losing loved ones, say a prayer for those who deal with the events of that day to this very day, and say a prayer for the firefighters, medics, police officers, and military personnel who work so hard to protect the homeland. In doing this we will “Never Forget” and we will honor the memory and sacrifices of so many.

Steve Hirsch
National Volunteer Fire Council