Monday, September 11, 2006

5 years.. Heartfelt Tribute and a burning tear to unknown Heroes

For once, this only time, and for this only post, I do not really care about comments. You are welcome to leave some, of course, I will read them with great interest, but I won't be answering any questions. This post is a tribute, and I like it to remain just that, without any debate. It is in a sense a selfish post, I kind of wrote it for myself.

It has been 5 years day to day, since 2 airplanes hit the twin towers in NYC.

In this article, I don't feel like writing poems, or repeating over and over again the same words we have been hearing for the last 5 years, or even asking "why?". Not that I do not feel this way, but I think many say it and have said it better than I could ever do..

No, in this article, I would like to pay a tribute to people who touched me deeply and left a scar deep inside that is refusing to heal.

I am no american, I have never visited the twin towers in my life.
No, on that dark september 11th, I was comfortably in my parisian flat, watching as the terror unfolded.

And then, yet another horrible thing happened:

There was an amateur video showing people evacuating the twin towers by the stairs.
All who could still walk were going down the stairs as FAST as they could, sometimes even stumbling and falling, getting up again, and running DOWN the stairs.

And then IT happened.
In all this mist, and out of nowhere, like fantoms, appearing from the chaos, a unit of the New York City Fire Department (FDNY), was going UP the stairs.

All the people were running down, but these uniformed men were going UP, on the stairs, just as fast as the others were going down.
One fireman even looked straight in the camera. I will never forget those big blue eyes.

Were they aware that many of them were running straight to their death ?
No doubt about that.
Why did they do it anyway ?
Because it is their job, because it is what they do, because this is what distinguishes heroes from normal people.

Just to think that this could have happened in Paris, and that me or my colleagues could have been in the shoes of those brave heroes, makes chills go down my spine..
I remember being put on alert that week in the French capital.
I also remember my colleagues and me looking at each others without whispering a word.

For you see, we weren't yet aware of the number of casualties among firefighters, but there was no doubt in our spirit that once this number would be out, it would hurt a great deal.
We were right..

From one firefighter/rescuer to all the fallen comrades that dark day in the United States, a heartfelt tribute, and a burning tear..

This scar refusing to heal will be my companion to the grave, and those blue eyes will hunt me forever.

Image taken from the official FDNY website
Free Image Hosting at


Blogger Free Cedar said...

Sorry, they made me do it :) You’ve been Tagged!

3:44 PM  
Blogger Free Cedar said...

Beautiful words Jean. Truly they are heroes.
A tribute as well to all those innocents that have died on this dark day. May they rest in peace.

3:47 PM  
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