T Nation

September 11, 2001 Remember the Fallen


September 11, 2001 Remember the Fallen

Today is Patriot Day, 2005, the anniversary of the World Trade Center Attack, 2001. Thousands of innocent civilians died that day in a terror act that has gone down in history. Hundreds of our EMS brothers and sisters- paramedics, EMT's, firefighters, police officers, rescue workers- made the ultimate sacrifice for our coutrymen and died in the line of duty that day, while trying to save the lives of others. They no doubt died doing a job they loved, knowing that the risk of losing their own lives in the process was forever omnipresent in their chosen calling.

This post is dedicated to our rescue brothers and sisters who died in the World Trade Center Attack, September 11, 2001.

What compells a rescue worker to that line of work? Money? No, emergency workers are notoriously vastly underpaid, especially considering the hazards that come hand in hand with their duties. Glory? No, emergency workers are commonly heavily criticized in the media, by their own administration (who are supposed to support them) and even the patients they are helping, when they are doing the absolute best they can with the scant resources they are given. Glamor? No, emergency workers commonly have old blood/bodily fluid/toxic medication stains on their clothing; because they're underpaid, they have little disposable income to spend on frivolous items like designer clothing, expensive dinners. Excellent working conditions? No, emergency workers work in some of the worst environments going to crime scenes, scenes of gang violence, into peoples' homes, rescuing someone half dead from the path of oncoming cars, being exposed to infectious bodily fluids, being threatened- sometimes even killed- with weapons, constantly living with the looming threat of legal action and losing their livelihoods and all they've worked for. Great hours? No, emergency workers usually work 12, 14, 16, 24-hours or even longer Often, they are forced to work mandatory overtime, even on Thanksgiving, Christmas, Weekends, Holidays, during their childrens' dance recitals. While you are safe at home sleeping at night, an emergency worker pulls a midnight shift doing public service.

With all they have to put up with, why do most emergency workers do their jobs? They love people. They love bringing a lost child safely home to his/her mother. They love helping an emphysema patient in a crisis breathe again. They love saving the lives of people they who are virtual strangers simply to do good in the world. They love helping the abused child, the crime victim, the lost alzheimers elder.

On January 31, 2003, my friend Paramedic/Firefighter Danny Viliaros died while saving a life. He, Paramedic Mandy Shiraki and Pilot Ron Laubacher, were working for the Hawaii Air Ambulance, en route to the Big Island of Hawaii for a critical patient air transport in the middle of the night. They never made it to their destination, as their plane had apparently crashed into rural mountains. They died doing the work that they loved.

September 11 is a day to remember all of our fallen heroes. Today, I remember my friend and hero Danny... Please take a few moments today to remember all of our unsung american heroes.

Fireman's Prayer

When I am called to duty, God, where ever flames may rage

Give me the strength to save some life, whatever be its age.

Help me embrace a little child before it is too late;

Or save an older person from the horror of that fate.

Enable me to be alert, and hear the weakest shout,

And quickly and efficiently to put the fire out.

I want to fill my calling and to give the best in me;

To guard my every neighbor and protect his property

And if, according to your will I have to give my life;

Please bless with your protecting hand my children and my wife.

  • Author Unknown



Thanks for posting this. I just signed on to post a something about 9/11 as a remembrance.

I couldn't have written anything more profound then what you posted.

I lived in Battery Park City which is a few blocks from the former WTC's on 9/11. My company provided support services for the rescue and cleanup. It was extremely moving to see the self sacrafice that day. For months after I couldn't face a fireman without welling up with tears. NYPD same thing. Those guys had bravery like people wish they had or think they have. I have never seen anything like it. Rudi the same thing. He defined leadership for me after that event. Loyalty also. The man went to every cop and firemans funeral. I saw him at all of the ones I attended. Everyone and he was never in a hurry. Well done Rudi, well done.

I'm working on Katrina now. My choice. I bought a company that does this kind of work. I never thought I would see that kind of bravery again in my life or that type of devestation. Until I saw this. My God. My guys are from NY. Mostly Staen Island and Brooklyn. We stand in awe of the NYPD and NYFD when we see them down here. They had a service for them down here today but I couldn't find it. Wanted to show my respect and admiration for them.

I saw that prick kid from Orange County issue a warning today from Al-Queda. I wish I could strangle the motherfucker with my bare hands and throw the body into the WTC pit. My rage knows no bound regarding these assholes. You kill people going to work and my mercy reflex is out the door.

To this day it is unusual to go into a tavern or bar in Lower or Midtown Manhattan and not see a makeshift shrine dedicated to the cops and fireman who drank there. I hope we can do more for them then hoist a glass. Wish I was back in the city today but other issues take priority.

I am reminded of General Patton's famous quote which I will try and quote accurately if I can:

"Do not lament that such men have died, give thanks that they lived".

Say a prayer folks and Thank God or whatever else you believe in that is didn't happen in your city.

Never forget.


this is probably not the right time to point out how much I disagree with both of you....

What a bunch of brave men... may their memory live forever....

(R) amen


It's not. Thank you for your discretion. Seriously.



That's a really great quote...it's going onto my computer as a screen saver. Thank you for sharing your experiences. I'm glad that there are people like you who keep our fallen heroes in their prayers and hearts.

Yes, let's never forget.

Peace and Love...


Wow...you never realize all so well that there are so many memories. I know i try and keep most inside and just talk to family, friends, and my fiancee. Sometimes talking and posting with strangers can help even more.

I thank you all today for listening to my post earlier and i thank those who attached to this one.

God Bless America and God Bless Everyone,
scott paltos


Great post Chinadoll-from someone like you that serves the public-this really hits home.



Great post. For a few months post-9/11, everyone felt as you do. Sadly, for most of the country, that sentiment has worn off. Most Americans have short memories. For those of us who serve the public, however, we will never forget.


9/11 is a tough day for everyone -- but for those who serve in the fire service or police, it does have a special place. I was at work that day. Funny thing is at first we were all alittle jealous because they were gonna have alittle "fun". Little did we know that it would be the last thing many of them did.

I love my job, the traditions, the commradary, the helping of others. Would not trade it for the world! But I do wish that more people understood, why we do the job and exactly what all we give up to be there for them.

Thanks for the kind words.....and rememberances.


Thank you guys for your comments and sharing your experiences. You are right, it hits home for us more than the average person. I cry all day every September 11, and more so after my friends died. Our colleagues who gave their lives in the line of duty on 9/11/01 and on other days, we will never forget how they made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their fellow citizens. Let's keep them from being forgotten....


Great post Chinadoll. Gotta love Danny as a friend, coworker, example, and mentor.