There were so many profound 911 ceremonies this weekend any number of them could be singled out. In my hometown, Guilderland police officer Dave Romano gave his firsthand account of 911 at the Crossgates Mall ceremony attended by many brave Guilderland police and fire personnel.
Romano raced to the scene as a volunteer the moment he saw the second Tower collapse. Late that night, as he watched NY City firefighters dig through the rubble encasing a fire truck, the man next to him said his brother worked on the truck. As the man clung to faint hope, he continually thanked Romano for coming to help. Officer Romano could not believe he was being thanked given the sacrifice that had been forced upon that man.
At the 911 ceremony in New York City, a victim’s family member said the last 10 years have taught her this about America, “When you fall, someone will catch you.”
These stories, one local, one from a distance, reflect 911’s enduring legacy. There is no weapon that can obliterate kindness, no terrorist act can eliminate brotherhood. The terrorists never anticipated what would come to be. Though their heinous attack was a crippling blow, we are now more alert, more appreciative of the power of a helping hand, and have a stronger resolve in defeating the forces of evil. In that sense, we are a stronger nation now.