September 11, 2001–the day that changed the country, the world (or at least our view of it)– still weighs on our American memory 13 years later.
Today, plenty of Americans will take the time to stop and recollect where they were right when they found out about the attacks, when they realized the magnitude of the day, how they came together with their friends and neighbors to make sense out of the senselessness. Because, unlike most of life’s moments, almost any American who was alive and cognitive on 9/11 can recall the day clearly: where they were, what they saw, when they saw it, who they were with, the weather outside. Those are the details that stand out when reality shifts forever.
Certainly, 9/11 unveiled a lot of evil in the world, but in doing so, the day showed us how much good exists, too.
Heroic stories of the firefighters, first responders, civilians on board Flight 93 and inside with World Trade Center and others have made their way into American history, and on this day, it’s their memory that we should honor; it’s their character that we should remember; it’s their legacy that we should live. That’s why 9/11 Day has become s a national day of service–the biggest service day of the year.
Americans, businesses and people from around the world will serve their communities in the name of those who lost their lives on September 11. This Throwback Thursday, take a moment to remember some of the heroes that rose to the calls to action that day.
We’ve compiled just a short lists here on Our Space to get you started:
At 24-years-old, Crowther was an equities trader working on the 104th floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center. A former volunteer firefighter, Crowther sprung into action after the plane struck the South Tower, and he rescued over a dozen people from the World Trade Center. In one case, he carried a women down fifteen flights of stairs and then directed able-bodied people to help the injured as he made his way back up stairs to rescue more people. His body was recovered in 2002, next to several firefighters and first responders.
United Airlines Flight 93
“Let’s roll.”– Todd Beamer
By the time hijackers took control of United Airlines Flight 93, both the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center had been hit, and a third hijacked plane was minutes away from the Pentagon. Passengers on Flight 93 were able to call loved ones and learn of the other terrorist attacks. The passengers let their loved ones know they they’ve taken a vote and will attempt to take back the plane. A group then charged the cockpit and, in one way or another, forced Flight 93 to the ground in a Pennsylvania field. That plane was the only one not to make it to its intended target, presumably in Washington D.C.
September 11, 2001 was not the first day Smith acted as a hero. The police officer–the only female officer who died in the 9/11 attacks–had worked with the NYPD for 13 years. During that time she earned a Distinguished Duty Medal for her service during a 1991 subway crash. On 9/11, Smith worked to save dozens of lives from the South Tower. She was still aiding in the rescue efforts when the building collapsed, and her body was recovered in 2002.
Three hundred and forty three firefighters lost their lives on September 11 while trying to rescue others. All of the firefighters who acted that day were heroes. Several of their stories have made it to the media. Battalion Chief Orio Joseph Palmer led a team in the South Tower that climbed to the 78th floor (the floor where United Airlines Flight 175 crashed). Department Chief Peter J. Ganci, Jr., who was directing rescue efforts from a command post at the bottom of the North Tower, refused to leave his men even when the building was clearly going to collapse.
In the moments, days, weeks and years since 9/11, these heroes have helped spread some light onto one of our nation’s darkest days. Don’t forget to honor their memory for 9/11 Day.
Cover Photo Source: Aaron Wood
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://ourspace.thesanjosegroup.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2013/02/Cassandra-Bremer-Our-Space-Photo-e1402061863316.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Cassandra is a Content Manager and Developer at SJG. She earned her BA from Fontbonne University in 2011. Outside the office, she enjoys an active, healthy and well-rounded lifestyle including reading, writing, running, golfing, watching films, listening to music, taking photographs, and consuming media and social media.[/author_info] [/author]