Remember and Honor Our September 11 Heroes

Phyllis Lifestyle 36 Comments

Being married to a career fireman is an eye-opening experience. Things you never think about on a daily basis are things he and all firefighters handle every day. Neal is a battalion chief and has spent his entire career in the fire service. He said the most profound statement one day when we were talking about how emergencies are handled: “We don’t have a 911 to call for help; we are it for everyone who calls, and we have to handle the emergency.”

Neal Fire Service

Neal Fire Service

On September 11, 2001, a large group of firefighters left for work and never came back. To be exact, 343 were called to action, and they answered the call. Every year at this time, we are all reminded of that day, but truthfully, I think about it every day.

This past year, we were in New York City and went to see the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. It had been on our list to see, and it is something every American should see. As I walked around the pools and looked at all the names engraved, I was overwhelmed. The name of every person who died in the 2001 and 1993 attacks are inscribed into bronze panels, edging the memorial pools.It seemed like miles of names—a powerful reminder of the largest loss of life resulting from a foreign attack on American soil and the greatest single loss of rescue personnel in American history.

The museum tells the story of that day with displays of actual film, artifacts, and personal memorabilia. It is done so well. The museum captures the emotion of that day and the years that have followed for the families and friends of those who lost their lives.

The rescuers from that day went to rest and recharge inside the little church that sits across the street from the museum. The church pews still have the boot marks and scuffs from that day. It was not damaged amidst the horrible destruction and served as a safe place for so many. You can see displays of support and love there as well.

I came away very emotional and very changed. Today and every day, I thank our police and fire personnel who protect us 24 hours a day. We never know what will happen on a daily basis, but we do know that with the touch of 9-1-1 on our phones, our heroes are on their way to us.

We will always remember! We will be forever changed. Thank you to our heroes.



 (U.S. Air Force photo/Denise Gould)

Comments 36

  1. Dear Phyllis and all who have left such beautiful, heartfelt comments. You have said it all in thoughtful and tender words.
    Such an unbelievable day, and it is my hope we will always remember the heroes on that day and the days that followed September 11. And that we also continue to cherish those who rush to the rescue.
    We are truly blessed to be part of this ribbon, a golden thread, to share Phyllis’ and eachother’s thoughts, ideas, sentiments and love. God bless… and love to each of you.

  2. Well, said, Phyllis.

    God Bless your Neal and all first responders as well as their families ~ today and everyday. May we never take their service for granted…

  3. I have seen the 9-ll memorial, and it is, indeed, profound. I am so very thankful to each and every first responder who answered the call that day; and to those who, today, do not hesitate to move when then time comes to help. We can never thank these men and women enough for putting their life on the line every single day. My personal appreciation to each of you for your dedication to your chosen careers. And thank you, Phyllis, for writing such a moving article.

  4. What a lovely post and rememberance! I didn’t even realize it was 9/11 until I read your post. We live in the country, right near Disney, and had a pretty harrowing night with Irma’s eye wall passing over us! God completely answered our prayers to keep us under the shadow of His wing throughout the night! My wonderful engineer husband probably kept our house from coming down because he knew how to brace two stories of glass! God is soooo good to us! Only some shingles off the garage and a little leak in the ceiling by the fireplace in the breakfast room. Truly a miracle!

    When our kids were still home and we were in the car together and heard a siren, we immediately began to pray…for everyone, especially those racing TOWARD the event, instead of away! What bravery and courage!

    We kept and I still keep $5 Chic-Fil-A or Starbucks gift cards with a note of gratitude written on them for my children to hand to the fireman, officer, or military personnel. They would look them in the eye and say, “Thank you for your service to all of us,” shake their hand, and give them the gift card.

    These mighty warriors are true heroes. My heart hurts for all those who lost loved ones on 9/11 or otherwise. Please let your hubby and all his crew know that we appreciate their service to us all. Blessings to him!

  5. Yes, Thank you for this post in remembrance of that awful day. How well I remember was home sick waiting for my doctors visit when Katie of the morning show was on and saw the planes hit the towers. Something that is forever in my memory! Thanks to your husband and all of the firemen and policemen everywhere. Prayers for their safety everyday.

  6. Thank you for your powerful remembrance and the beautiful way you honored your husband. My son-in-law is the District Supervisor of the Forest Service here. He just spent 18 days in Montana with the raging fires. God Bless all who serve and I especially pray for all the families who lost loved ones on September 11. My friend Connie says remembering is almost like praying. Remembering is very powerful. The Lord said: “Remember me….”

  7. Such a beautifully written post on such a sorrowful day. I fear many people have already forgotten what happened on the day 16 years ago

    Please thank your husband for his service.

  8. God Bless your husband and all firefighters and police personnel. Living in New York everyone was affected directly or indirectly.

  9. Thank you, Phyllis, Your post is beautifully written. Let no one ever forget this tragic day and all the lives lost. We appreciate and honor our unselfish men and women, like your dear husband, who risk their lives every single day for our safety. God bless each and everyone.

  10. Thank you for this post. It is a day that will never be forgotten. A friend lost a brother who worked on the 104 floor of the north tower. Thank your husband for his service.

  11. Even in the midst of TV coverage of Hurricane Irma ….it was overwhelming to read your 9/11 remembrance !! No matter what the circumstances are we MUST always remember that day. I know I always will…….thank you Phyllis for always reminding us what needs to be remembered–whether is be a happy memory or not so happy memory !! Kudo’s xoxo

  12. Thank you for this moving post. Watching the televised memorial and all the names read is still so heartbreaking. All the family and friends reading the names is so touching. God Bless all the first responders.

  13. This was a post to be read and re-read. We shall never forget and pictures of that time, even when we were in the center of the US, will be forever etched in our hearts and minds. Prayers go out for our protectors everywhere. Thank you Phyllis.

  14. I worked across the street and lived nearby but had moved to Europe by then. It was terrible to see everything of my former neighborhood destroyed, my co-workers fleeing, losing contact with them by phone and computer. I remember when one of my co-workers alerted me that a plane had hit the WTC, and how life changed forever since. Innocence lost.
    I also have a firefighter in the family and am stunned by the personal risk he takes to save others. He also is an EMT and has revived a number of people–who come back to thank him for saving their lives.

  15. For your husband, and all first responders ( I have several in my family) thank you for your incredible service to your fellow man . Your reward may not be on this earth, but believe me, there will be one especially for you in heaven.
    God bless and thank you.

  16. Your email reminded me to let our nephew, Kyle, know how much we appreciate him and his dedication to being a Captain for the Neosho, Mo. Fire Dept. I past on your husband’s statement to him because I had never consciously thought of that before and it deepened my appreciation and my commitment to pray for whoever is involved every time I hear a siren. Thank you for sharing this today as we remember 9/11 and as we are praying for those you are on the ‘front lines’ of the storms’ aftermath in our nation today. May we all look to God for help and strength during these times. God is faithful to perform His promises in His Word…may we declare His Word in our circumstances because His angels are quick to “heed His Word” when we do. PTL!

  17. There is a feeling that only the spouse of an emergency responder can know and that is wondering every time they go out if they will come back and will they be safe on the job. The brave men and women who put their lives on the line every day in the performance of their jobs need our support. They are people just like you and I, doing a job and raising a family and like the military, they put their lives in harms way for our safety.

  18. Even 16 years later, whenever we visit New York and I hear a fire truck siren, I think back to 911. Firemen were truly heroes on that day, but I know them as being our heroes everyday…they are first to arrive anywhere there is an emergency…not knowing what awaits them. There is a fire station not far from my house and whenever I drive by, I always say a prayer for the firefighters.

  19. Watching the planes fly into the towers while being on the Long Island railroad, my friend Kathy, a nurse, managed to go downtown to help. After four days and nights she finally let her family know she was coming home. Living in NY, it left us all traumatized.
    I send Kathy pink roses on this day each year.

  20. Thank you for your well written article which reminds us all to thank God for every moment we have been given, it is a gift and it can be taken at any moment. Also, thanks to your dedicated husband and all of those who put their lives on the line everyday for us! My prayers are with you every time I hear a siren.

  21. Thank you Phyllis, for this heart touching post, I almost cried again reading it. I too remembered this day and all the loss our people suffered on this day. That we are blessed to have so many men and women serving our communities without a thought to their own safety each and every day, is a true gift to every single one of us. I too thank our heroes with all my heart.

  22. Whenever I hear a siren, I always say to myself, “Help is on the way”. I am so impressed by and thankful for our first responders. They truly are heroes.

  23. I pray we never forget that day and all the innocent people who lost their lives. I will never forget what I was doing at the moment I heard the first report on the CBS Morning Show. I also remember how fearful and apprehensive I felt about what the event may lead to. God bless all those whose lives were changed because of that tragic event in American history. Sharon

  24. I remember that about 6 of us ladies from our office were in New York the weekend before the attack. To think that we were there not a block from the Twin Towers is humbling. So many lost their lives in that tragedy. May God bless the families of all those who were lost in the blast as well as the rescuers who were lost.

    1. Karen, it hurts to think about all of them. As they were reading the names this morning, I thought about their families. I cant imagine the emotions. Thank you for reminding us.

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