Sunday, September 11, 2011

The 9/11 Memorial Special Event at Arvada High School

On Friday the school where I teach put on a special 9/11 Remembrance event. One of the people killed in the 9/11 attack was a graduate of our school. He was a 29 year old father of two sweet boys when he was killed. In an effort to keep his memory alive and positive, they put together a scholarship fund. So far four students have received some of those monies. A number of dignitaries were present. The most riveting part of the event was the guest speaker, a fire fighter that survived his rescue efforts. This is considerable considering that 343 of his fellow fight fighters perished trying to help others. His was a story with pictures, facts and stories. He had many interesting things to share. Here are a few of the more unusual things he told us about: The first person to respond in a fighter fighter's uniform was a New York chaplain. He was the first person to die in the first tower. His was also the first whole body recovered. The fire fighters present were sure that has was sent by God to help shephard others through the awful attack. Of the 2,819 people who died in the attack of the World Trade Center, only 174 were found whole. * Body parts were found as far as seven miles away. * At first rescue dogs were brought in. These dogs are trained to find live people. They became depressed, just like those who were working to rescue people. The dogs would shut down emotionally from the sadness and despair of it. The fire fighters kept up the dogs' spirits by hiding and having the dogs find them. This helped to keep them working. * Later the dogs trained to find corpses were brought in. They suffered similar depression, though this time there was no easy fix. Parts of the planes were found up to a few miles away. Those photos were a bit alarming since I had not expected to see them. The kids seemed to be really impacted by the stories the fire fighter shared. It is their hope, and mine, that this very personal, touching story will help this generation of students (who were just 4-7 years old when the e attacks happened) understand the importance of acceptance and the sacrifices, and successes we as a nation have endured as a result of the attacks. (more to come, maybe)

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