The climate as we speak has been conducive to reflecting on quite a few topics. To be sincere, Sunday is the day that I normally write my “More Straight Talk” Column, after I have had the chance to consider the occasions of the week and watching quite a few the Sunday information exhibits. I by no means actually deal with the topic I’ll write about till that day, however occasionally, a topic will come to me earlier, however I might attempt to hold an open thoughts about the subject material of the week.
Whereas sitting subsequent to the window and having a late morning cup of espresso, I used to be reminded that September of 2020 would mark the 50th anniversary of once I joined the Harmony, New Hampshire Fireplace Division. It was 50 years in the past when I first walked by these entrance doorways of the Central Station on Warren Street and commenced a remarkably attention-grabbing journey in my life.
I consider that journey made me a greater individual, for it ready me for a skilled and private life that allowed me to perceive why robust ethical rules and integrity are two of life’s most necessary character traits.
I’m not saying anybody of us is excellent, for we’re all human and are topic to the frailties demonstrated in our on a regular basis lives. I feel we’ve all finished issues that flip our stomachs right into a knot occasionally and that is actually because our ethical rules set off alarms to tell us we may not be making a few of the greatest choices.
By doing so, we’ve got the chance to change our choices and make the suitable decisions in life, to dwell as much as the principals which make us a greater individual.
Assembly these males 50 years in the past helped mildew me into the individual I might ultimately turn into. They positioned the wants of others, excellent strangers above these of their personal. The women and men who rushed into the Commerce Towers 19 years in the past this month, did in order very principled professionals.
I’ve typically heard it stated, “Integrity is doing something that is right, even when no one is watching.”
These firefighters, EMS and legislation enforcement professionals on that day 19 years in the past didn’t go searching for a digital camera or movie crew, they only merely did their jobs, as they had been skilled to do.
I keep in mind being skilled not to take a look at “who,” the individual was that wanted our help, however as an alternative to look at what their wants had been, and to do our best possible to satisfy these necessities. To point out compassion the place none is in proof and to all the time do it with respect. I’ve all the time been humbled to have been accepted right into a occupation we held in frequent and hoped I had by no means stained that fantastic custom of service we shared.
Many of the lads I labored with had been from my dad’s technology. A lot of them veterans from Korea and World Struggle II. Their actions had earned my respect from a time earlier than my delivery and people of my age had been proud to grant them that respect they so rightly deserved.
All of us got here from working–class households. There have been no Harvard Levels or silver spoons. If you had been to achieve their respect, you would need to earn it the outdated trend method by working for it. No particular privileges had been granted and solely exhausting work and perseverance on the job would permit you acceptance into the ranks. Complainers and those who would query a command weren’t tolerated. Everybody would perceive their duties and solely a 110% effort would be acceptable, nothing much less.
There have been days of nice unhappiness on the job, because the lack of life, whether or not younger or outdated was by no means quickly forgotten and you’ll all the time ponder whether you could possibly have finished extra to avert that tragic loss which we labored so diligently to avert.
As I learn or take heed to the horrible occasions that appear to permeate the headlines present in as we speak’s media, I are likely to marvel what has occurred to the pleasure our nation as soon as held for those who selected to proudly serve our citizenry all through this nice nation.
I used to be humbled final week to face beside a crew member from Engine 25 of the NYFD as he stood within the parking zone at Station 50 of the Marco Island Fireplace/Rescue Division. I had by no means met the gentleman earlier than however am proud that he and I shared a typical thread inside our lives which can without end present us with a connection that can by no means be damaged.
I’ll always remember that heat September 11th day in 2001 which noticed me separated by solely 30 minutes from once I ought to have been standing within the parking zone of the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. For that morning I was supposed to debate the potential refitting of the ARFF (Airport Rescue Fireplace Combating) car that would offer assist for landings of helicopters on the facility. As an alternative, it will be struck by American Airways Flight 77 as it slammed into the constructing at 9:37 AM on that fateful day.
If I might be granted one want, it will be after all that the occasions of that fateful day of September 11th would by no means have occurred. Nonetheless, I can not rewrite historical past, however as I have a look at our nation as we speak, I can solely pray that the pleasure, patriotism and sense of unity be restored to this nice nation. Ought to that be potential, for extra than simply the few fleeting moments, the unification of us as Individuals would grant us the potential of overcoming any challenges and defeating any foe for the nice of mankind.