Living in metro Washington DC, the federal government is the town's "industry."
Politics is a passionate pastime.
I teach at a university with flagship programs in public policy, media and political science.
There was a work-study undergrad I wanted to terminate a decade ago for providing inattentive/sloppy work while our teaching assistant.
He was an unpaid congressional staffer. Spent most of his time in our office watching C-SPAN while doing the Congressman's committee work.
He went on to earn a graduate degree and complete a White House appointment. Will be a Homeland Security player when the next Republican president is elected.
Politicizing our Tragedy
The polarization of political discussions and the "reality TV shock and awe"' approach by preachers and pundits is quite different than how we acted in the months after the 2001 attacks.
I watched the first SNL show on September 29. Mayor Rudy Giuliani, along with members of FDNY, PAPD and NYPD appeared in the cold opening to encourage New York and Saturday Night Live to carry on in the face of adversity. When asked by Lorne Michaels "Can we be funny?", Giuliani replied "Why start now?"
The New Normal is Now Normal
From last year's post about today:
For the fourth time since 2001 I am flying out of Reagan National (DCA) airport on the anniversary of the attacks.
Not because I am heroic, because it is what my job requires.
Driving by the Pentagon at 5:30, seeing all of the flashing blue lights as the police started closing roads, I remember what happened seven years ago when my job had me teaching at the National Airport Fire Station.
This link (HERE) takes you to an article I wrote about the response to the Pentagon, I wanted to make sure that the airport and Fort Myer crews were recognized for their actions.
In early July I reflected on the tenth anniversary of my retirement as a uniformed firefigher. This memory will never fade:
While I miss the action and the day-to-day “family” dramas, the only time I regretted retiring was one Tuesday morning.
Smoke was rising from the Pentagon on a terrible and brilliant blue-sky day.
Each of us handles today in our own way, in private or public expressions of grief, solidarity, outrage, or commitment.
Most of the bloggers on FireEMSBlogs.com are also posting commentary today.
Dave LeBlanc, writing in Bill Carey's Backstep Firefighter does a great job putting this year's anniversary into perspective:
For days and weeks, maybe months after the attacks, every fireman was considered a hero. Firehouses were flooded with food, gifts, cards and flowers. Firemen were held up as being extraordinary and special. Something none of them would ever think about themselves.
But where are we now, nine years later? Budget cuts and economic hard times have made firemen less extraordinary in some people’s eyes and easily cut from budgets to save some dollars.
Controversy looms around every corner as plans for the memorial limit how FDNY firemen will be remembered, as Congress wants to forget that they have a responsibility to those that worked at ground zero and as debate swirls about the construction of a mosque near the World Trade Center site.
At the end of the day, there isn’t a fireman working for the FDNY that wouldn’t give back their “15 minutes” to have their brothers back. There probably isn’t a fireman anywhere in this Country that wouldn’t gladly remain an obscure Public Servant so that those that died nine years ago could be here today.
Mike "FossilMedic" Ward
Published September 11, 2010. Updated May 05, 2011