READER LETTER – 9/11 REMEMBERED: Letter from a Firefighter

On September 11, 2001, our world was turned upside down. Weresponded to the World Trade Center with the expectation of20,000-plus casualties. It is hard to believe 10 years havepassed.

It was a beautiful clear day, and as we entered this scene, the sunwas completely blocked out. The smoke pouring out was thick and thedevastation was all around us. We had no clear contact with theoutside world till well into the evening.

We heard sporadic rumors through the day of several cities of ourcountry that were hit. We thought the world was at war and to whatend we did not know, nor did we have time to contemplate. We werelooking and searching through this tragedy for anyone we couldhelp.

It is rare that a single event is so thoroughly experienced by asociety. Yet as numbing and incomprehensible this terrorist actwas, the citizens of our country, and the community at large, allhave done what we did that day.

Individually, and collectively, people reached out to help. We asmembers of the Fire Department of New York City have been, andcontinue to be, the recipients of this extraordinary effort. Theoutpouring of support and the single acts of kindness have beenoverwhelming and humbling. Despite what we lost, it is the natureof humanity that helps nudge us forward.

We will always remember the souls we lost that day, and since thatday, due to this tragic event. We will also never forget thetremendous support from our families, friends and countrymen. So,with the memories and dreams of what could have been, and areminder of how precious life is, we walk forward together with akeen eye to building on their legacy for our future and the futureof our children.

Lt. Chris Reiser

Engine 284

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