Friday, September 11, 2009

Every Single Day Heroes

thanks everyone for the support in the prior post. i got back late and was exhausted. today is not the day to dwell on myself. i will update you all later.

I just spoke to my son. He is at work on the streets of lower Manhattan just as he was on the morning of September 11, 2001. He and his co-workers are doing the job of keeping communication lines running in the midst of a memorial service. Just as they kept vital communications running 8 years ago in the midst of an enormous crisis.

This was my son's "office" - he really works on the streets - in manholes, on rooftops, in sub-basements. He was going to return to this building that morning but decided to go straight home. He had worked the night shift of 9/10/2001 and had taken on some overtime the morning of 9/11. He was relieved at the work site by someone who will never come home again.



My son and the rest of the guys on his crew are very emotional today. From September 12, 2001 well into the summer of 2002 they worked side by side with thousands of others to clear and secure the WTC site.

My son became close with many he worked beside and they were all humbled by the strength and resolve of the First Responders ...





My son calls himself "just a phone guy" - much like the way the rest of the workers called themselves - steel guys, Con Ed guys, trucker guys, military guys, construction guys, machinist guys, welder guys, medical guys ...

This was their "office" for 12 to 16 hours a day, day after day after day ...





7 out of 10 first responders, mostly FDNY, are sick today and require long term care and support.

You can read more about that HERE

There are no clear cut statistics on how many of the recovery workers are sick. There is no single place or agency that supports them.

The average salary of a firefighter is $42,000 a year. They ran into burning, crumbling buildings populated by investment brokers making hundred of thousands a year.

The men and women who worked at Ground Zero are now having their shifts cut, their overtime restricted, their very jobs eliminated.

All the memorials and all the sad songs and all the celebrity benefits will not fix what is broken.

What is broken in this country is respect for workers. Value for people who make things.

I agree that we should never forget those who are gone. Yet the harder job is to never forget those who are here ...

33 comments:

Jay Simser said...

Hugs to you and to your son. Wow. We sometimes push this to the back of our minds. We shouldn't.

Jeni said...

Excellent post, Dianne. Very well stated that remembrance is needed, yes, but not just of those who died, but those left in the wake of all that destruction.
Peace -today and always.

Raven said...

Amen. I had never seen some of these photos before they are powerful. We owe so much to people like your son who gave and did so much to hold the country together and to heal that hideous gaping wound in our national soul. Please give him a hug and my thanks.

Hope yesterday went well for you.

Lily Hydrangea said...

thanks for posting this Diane. My brother-in-law is a NYC fireman and was there day in & day out just like your son. I agree it is important to remember them. I've included you on a link list of 911 remembrances I assembled on my blog.
Thanks again.

bobbie said...

Thanks for this, Dianne. You are so right. These are the men and women who most deserve our respect. And who deserve so much more than they have received.

Daryl said...

As always you say what many of us think/feel and always so well .. this touched me so deeply I am holding back sobs because I am in the office .. but the tears are running down my face ...

fermicat said...

Powerful post, Dianne. Thank you for writing it, and for sharing your son's experience and reminding us what is really important.

Lori Skoog said...

Dianne...this is a very moving post...it makes me feel the pain.
Thank you for sharing it.

San said...

A powerful post, Diane. Our country is definitely sick. The putrid fumes of unbridled capitalism are smothering our ability to put human life before money. Oh, it is so disturbing.

Blessings to you and your son and your city and our country...

Jay said...

Very nice post Dianne!

Jackie said...

We watched in horror here. I still can't find words. I'm glad you can.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Beautifulkly said, Dianne---as always. What you say is so disheartening too, because these people--your son included--put themselves aside to "be there" and do the work that had to be done. And now they are suffering. I hope your son is 'well' and stays 'well'. And I pray that ALL of the people who did the dirty terrible heartbreaking jobs of cleaning up will be givden the help THEY Need!

Akelamalu said...

Wonderful post Dianne about a day no-one will ever forget.

Patti said...

This is a beautifully written post, Dianne.

I agree that we can never forget all of those men and women who responded that day, and continued to respond as they worked at the site for all those months.

You have a talent in finding the right words. The last photo is incredibly touching.

Anndi said...

I am the girlfriend of a volunteer firefighter. It's one of the things that defines me. And this anniversary is a tough one for me.

I've been with Mah Honey when emergency calls have come in. I've been on the phone with him when he's had to hang up and go because strangers, in their darkest hour, needed him. I ask God to keep him safe and bring him home. I cross myself whenever I see a fire truck, because I know those men and women have families waiting for them.

People forget the heroes, and it saddens me. People politicize this day, and it makes me angry.

On that day that started with the worst that humans are capable of, we saw the best humans (and canines) have to offer. Rescue workers and support personel came from all over to help and work along side New York's finest. We saw strangers on street corners comforting each other... from opposite ends of the political spectrum I bet.

I wanted to write, I couldn't... but you said what I feel. Thank you, mama.

"The hero is commonly the simplest and obscurest of men." ~Henry David Thoreau

Ramblings of a Villas Girl said...

Well written Dianne! Bless your son and all the fine men and women that day and the many days after. Lisa

Micky-T said...

total loss of words

You need some "sunny" days on end!

My fingers are crossed.

Linda Reeder said...

This is a beautiful and fitting tribute, so much better than " we must never forget. We must always be vigilant and afraid". We have so much more to fear from ourselves.

Ron said...

Brava, Dianne!

"Yet the harder job is to never forget those who are here...

You said it!

Thank you for sharing this today, dear lady.

Hope all went well for you yesterday.

X ya!

Travis said...

I've been trying to write this post each 11 Sept since I started my blog. Somehow I just can't do it.

Thank you for writing the words for me.

Linda said...

So very, very, very well written. The lives of those lost on 9/11 are just that - lost - and while it's important to remember them, it's more important to remember the survivors of that day who not only carry the emotional scars but the physical ones, too, in a world that just doesn't seem to care sometimes. I don't know, sometimes all I can do is shake my head at the way our country seems to be so screwed up these days and wonder if it can ever be fixed again ... we seem to have turned into Humpty Dumpty.

Now ... how about you? How are you doing? Sorry I haven't been around lately - heck of a work schedule this week - as per usual but please believe me that I am very, very thankful that I have a job. Even if it is one that stresses me out from time to time!

Sylvia K said...

A marvelous, moving and beautiful post, Dianne! My thanks to your son for all he has done, as I thank them all. Those of us who watched from a distance will never know just how horrific it was in spite of the TV coverage, for those of you who were there, who saw it all so up close and personally, my heart goes out to you, still. And as you said, the ones who are lost are lost and while we can grieve for them, it is those who are still here, that we mustn't ever forget.

Much love and hugs to you and your son.

Sylvia

James said...

What an amazing post!

kenju said...

I watched almost 3 hours of documentaries on the History Channel tonight; all about 9/11. It was very sorrowful, but also interesting, to see how everyone in NYC at the time was personally affected, and hear their stories. They had video from nearly every person who had a camera going that day, and from every angle.

Cloudia said...

Very Well Said!

Aloha


Comfort Spiral

PERBS said...

I can only say, "Thank you!" and let you know that I have a firefighter son here in WA state who was ready to go to NY to help if need arose. . .

Thanks for dropping by my blog.

Arkansas Patti said...

Very well said. We often forget that not all the victims died that day. I hope those wonderful workers get the help the need they deserve. Pray your son is all right and stays that way.
Thank you.

Jacob said...

Poignantly powerful. What kind of country is it that can't take care of those who sacrifice so much?

How do we take our land back from the corporatists?

Thanks, Dianne!

CG said...

i cried all the way through this moving, powerful post x

The Cunning Runt said...

And just when the tears of anguish and despair at our collective stupidity had finally subsided, here I am sobbing again.

God bless your son and all of the others who labor on, trying to make sense, trying to make progress in this fucked up world.

We have a cultural blind spot, begotten by the false paradigm of Corporate Legitimacy, which will negate your son's contributions to society and doom us all to perpetual serfdom if we can't get the better of it.

I'm sorry, this isn't my forum, and I haven't the right to usurp it in service of my thoughts. But I sense a spiritual commonality here, and wanted to let you know that you're not nearly alone, that a lot of us get it, and that it's worth the effort to try to get our act together and make a difference.

Keep on speaking out, My Sister. We got your back.

Grayquill said...

Sounds like it was not such an easy day for mom too. Your love for your son and the pride you have for his work comes through.

jennifer said...

You made the goosebumps roll with this post Dianne. I stand amazed that small choices like your son choosing to head home instead of back to the office. That could have... well... I am thankful for the life of your son and for the job that he continues to do.

I will NEVER forget.

pink dogwood said...

Very moving post Dianne - I never thought about the first responders until I read this post - thanks for writing this post.