BENEFITING: Texas LODD Task Force
EVENT DATE: Sep 06, 2014
Everyone remembers what they were doing on September 11, 2001.
It was mid afternoon and I was working at a power station in the North East of Scotland. It was early afternoon when we started to hear that a plane had crashed in New York. I called my wife who was at home, watching the news. The second plane hit as we talked. She hung up so she could try to call her family in the US and I went back to work.
Needless to say there wasn't much productivity for the rest of the day. Countlessly refreshing the BBC web page yielded nothing as thousands of people overloaded the internet trying to get information. This was in the UK, prior to broadband. Fiber optics were but a pipe dream - we still had a dial up connection at home!
I clearly remember watching the news that evening, trying to take in the images as the camera silently panned over Ground Zero. No newscaster spoke. What could they say?
We moved to the USA a couple of years later to start a family. After a few more years working behind a desk, I decided I wanted to do something more worthwhile in life. The opportunity presented itself to join the Fire Service and I took it. It's a decision that I have not regretted in the 14 months I've been on the line.
Honoring tradition is very strong in the Fire Service. I've read a number of books about the events of 9/11 in New York City. I am humbled by the scale of the tragedy - the number of firefighters killed alone is more than currently serve with my department. I try to imagine if I was in their boots. What were they thinking? Would I have had the courage they showed to climb the towers with my brothers?
343 active duty Firefighters will be climbing 110 floors in September. I am privileged to have secured a spot to climb. This is my first time climbing and I hope to honor the 343 FDNY Firefighters who perished, and to raise funds for the Texas Line of Duty Death Task Force.