Sorry it has been over 2 years since I blogged, but life is still marching on....
The smell of sweat permeating the room was not the source of my eyes tearing up. It was the reading of the names of the servicemen that died on 9/11. We had all gathered to remember those who died by climbing the 110 flights of stairs the original servicemen in New York went before they sacrificed their life. Many of the firemen that climbed the stairs in remembrance were clad in their full uniform. The sweat pouring from their faces at the end showed the extreme effort those extra clothes and oxygen tanks really do take out of them. Somehow seeing how sweaty those servicemen must have been on the original 9/11 really drove home the sacrifice that many made not only that day, but continue to make today.
One fireman in particular really stood out to me, he was an older gentlemen, but was one of the first to be done climbing the stairs. He looked like a chief and acted like one as well. He was drenched in sweat and had taken off his fireman jacket and had his fireman pants open to let in the air and cool off a little. He stood close to the fireman bell that was rung for each name of those servicemen who died during 9/11. Whenever someone finished ringing the bell for their names he either hugged or shook hands with that person. You could tell from his actions that this event meant so much to him and that each person that died that day was like a brother to him. He is like many of us who are old enough to remember 9/11 and will never forget that day.
While there is much sadness over the many who died that day, there is so much pride for the stories of sacrifice and service that were rendered that day. I will never look at a serviceman the same again. Every day they live, they serve and I am so grateful that the world has people like them. People who care enough to deal with many hard things on a daily basis just to help others. Without their constant sacrifices, the United States would not be as wonderful of a country.
I didn't get a picture of the chief I was talking about. Wish I had.