"The hero is commonly the simplest and obscurest of all men." Henry David Thoreau
In a town like NY you have alot of neighbors, people and their pets live in tiny boxes above, below and around you. Your neighbors also include taxi's whizzing around the city streets, the awesome french pastry shop you wished you could afford more of on a student budget, Vinnie the guy that sits out side and gets your Dad out of a parking ticket when everyone else got one,(I wonder if he's still there), a few trees on each block to keep you in tune with nature, the sidewalks, the pigeons, the buildings. They all become your neighbors in a sense when you live in such a place with metal and steel and brick and concrete all around it just becomes a part of you and you it. Even when you leave it and move to the other side of the country, it is still there, buried but that first crisp smell of fall air will always bring it right back.
I lived in SoHo, NY for 2 years (before it became all trendy if you know it now!) in a small apartment right around the corner from the Fire Station on Lafayette St. between Spring St. and Prince St. These fire fighters were always so kind to my roomate and I whenever we'd walk by. Sometimes they'd be getting back at 4am when we were out dancing or out for some fresh midday air in the afternoon. We'd sometimes stand and chat, day or night but mostly they were just friendly faces at the end of a long hard day. We never introduced ourselves, never knew names only that we were neighbors.
On 9/11/01 after I finally got in touch with a friend who worked in the WTC and got in touch with some of her family (since I was calling from out of the area occasionally I could get through, even though none of them could). Really another story, anyway, after that first hour or so my next thought was to those firemen I never really knew but who I knew had to be there. So today I'd like to remember the fallen hero's of Squad 18 and Ladder 20, it is with sincere gratitude and regret that I have now learned their names....my prayers are with your families and loved ones as well as all the others who lost so much on that tragic morning:
Squad 18: Lt. William McGinn, FF Eric Allen, FF Andrew Fredericks, FF David Halderman, FF Timothy Haskell, FF Manuel Mojica, FF Lawrence Virgilio
Ladder 20: Lt John Fischer, FF John Burnside, FF James Gray, FF Sean Hanley, FF David LaForge, FF Robert Linnane, FF Robert McMahonI WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER 9-11-01