It has been 8,940,960 minutes since 9:59am on September 11, 2001 when the South Tower of the Word Trade Center collapsed. It was on that clear, crisp, perfectly blue skied Tuesday September morning where blood from all nations was spilled on soil below where the Stars and Stripes flew for the first time since the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. My city, our nation, and everyone’s world was irrevocably changed.
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
It has been 17 years.
The day after September 11, 2001 there was a sudden shift in how those in the city EMS system viewed one another. Whereas before we categorized each other by our agencies, whether it be private or hospital or city or volunteer, we instead saw each other as we truly are… fellow EMTs and Paramedics. Different colored uniforms and patches no longer divided us as we attended funeral after funeral and memorial after memorial united as a service.
This newfound unity lasted a few years but has surely slipped away. Once again the old prejudices resurged throughout the profession. The cohesion and unity in the wake of the tragedy disintegrated by personnel turn over, misguided mythos held as truth, and the memory fading effects of time. Just as the unity and civility amongst the agencies waned, so has the unity and civility amongst the populace.
It is important that we keep to the promises made on September 12, 2001 when we as a profession, as a people, and as a nation swore that we would #AlwaysRemember. We need to keep that promise. That day all sacrificed some, some sacrificed all and we need to honor that sacrifice through our actions to ensure that the true goal of this tyrannical act to divide this nation and its people are not victorious.
It has been 8,940,960 minutes since the South Tower of the World Trade Center at Liberty Street and West Street collapsed. I ask that you specifically remember the following nine Medics who perished in that collapse:
volunteer Zhe Zang
my friend Mario Santoro
my friend and vollie dispatcher Richard Pearlman
and my friend and partner Yamel Merino
Keep the promise today as you did 17 years ago.
Keep the promise tomorrow as you did today.
Together we stand, divided we fall.
– John Dickinson