GIVING: Remembering Sept. 11th

by | Everyday, September11th

As we approach another September, the 11th rings out in the minds of many.  But it’s with a special meaning for firefighter families everywhere.

What if that was my firefighter?

Here is a repost from last year at my personal blog at


GIVING: Remembering Sept. 11th


This blog is about GIVING.  In my short lifetime, I can remember no greater moment of giving than this:

FDNY Firefighters willingly and knowingly walked toward and into the World Trade Centers while everyone fled.  They were running up stairwells while everyone else went to exit.

343 firefighters did not return home that day.

Being married to a firefighter, this of course touches a delicate nerve.  Every third day my firefighter kisses me goodbye and not a day goes by that I don’t consider, it might be our last kiss and pray another prayer of protection over him and his partners for one more day.

Photograph courtesy John Labriola
While most able-bodied occupants of the north tower fled down stairwells to safety, firefighters such as Mike Kehoe (pictured) headed up to help the wounded.
Kehoe’s Ladder 11 firehouse lost six men that day, but he survived to face a life forever changed not only by 9/11 but by the iconic image in which he unwittingly appeared.
“In some ways Mike Kehoe came to symbolize the firefighters,” Chanin said.
Published September 8, 2011


Please know that I am not taking away from the many others who unselfishly gave their time, energy and lives on September 11, 2001.   They are all heroes.  But there are not many of us who wake up each day to jobs that may require us to unselfishly give our lives.

Some days I get frustrated and exhausted.  Tired and whiny.  The work never ends.   Another load of laundry.  Another international conference call at 6 am.  Something else is wrong with the house.  Another revision on the budget presentation.  Am I the only one who is capable of picking up these dishes?  Must call and check in on Grandma again.  Oh, Lord, these poor starving babies in Africa, how do you want ME to help them?

But I cannot think of one time that I had to take on a task knowing that I was being asked to GIVE MY LIFE.

These are truly special people.   Our firefighters, police officers, military and many others I am probably not even aware of.   Once again, my feeble words are an embarrassment to try to capture what happened here.

On this 10th Anniversary I challenge you to consider, would you willingly GIVE your life?

In honor of some of those heroes, here is a transcript of radio transmissions that occurred in the final minutes before the first tower collapsed.  Before these were released, no one thought the firefighters had made it to the 78th floor where the plane crashed.  Because of these tapes, many families now know their family members saw HOPE and were not alone in their final moments.

9:52 a.m.

Battalion Seven Chief: ”Battalion Seven to Battalion Seven Alpha.” “Freddie, come on over. Freddie, come on over by us.”
Battalion Seven Chief:

“Battalion Seven … Ladder 15, we’ve got two isolated pockets of fire. We should be able to knock it down with two lines. Radio that, 78th floor numerous 10-45 Code Ones.”

Ladder 15: ”What stair are you in, Orio?”
Battalion Seven Aide: ”Seven Alpha to lobby command post.”
Ladder Fifteen: ”Fifteen to Battalion Seven.”
Battalion Seven Chief: ”… Ladder 15.”
Ladder 15: ”Chief, what stair you in?”
Battalion Seven Chief: ”South stairway Adam, South Tower.”
Ladder 15: ”Floor 78?”
Battalion Seven Chief: ”Ten-four, numerous civilians, we gonna need two engines up here.”
Ladder 15: ”Alright ten-four, we’re on our way.”

9:52 a.m.

Battalion Seven Aide: ”Seven Alpha for Battalion Seven.”
Battalion Seven Chief: ”South tower, Steve, south tower, tell them…Tower one. Battalion
Seven to Ladder 15. “Fifteen.”
Battalion Seven Chief: ”I’m going to need two of your firefighters Adam stairway to knock down two fires. We have a house line stretched we could use some water on it, knock it down, kay.”
Ladder 15: ”Alright ten-four, we’re coming up the stairs. We’re on 77 now in the B stair, I’ll be right to you.”
Ladder 15 Roof: ”Fifteen Roof to 15. We’re on 71. We’re coming right up.”

9:57 a.m.

“Division 3 … lobby command, to the Fieldcom command post.”
Battalion Seven Chief: ”Operations Tower One to floor above Battalion Nine.”
Battalion Nine Chief: ”Battalion Nine to command post.”
Battalion Seven Operations Tower One:

“Battalion Seven Operations Tower One to Battalion Nine, need you on floor above 79. We have access stairs going up to 79, kay.”

Battalion Nine: ”Alright, I’m on my way up Orio.”
Ladder 15 OV: ”Fifteen OV to Fifteen.”
Ladder 15: ”Go ahead Fifteen OV, Battalion Seven Operations Tower One.”
Ladder 15 OV: ”Stuck in the elevator, in the elevator shaft, you’re going to have to get a difference elevator. We’re chopping through the wall to get out.”
Battalion Seven Chief: ”Radio lobby command with that Tower One.”

9:58 a.m.

Battalion Seven Chief: ”Battalion Seven to Ladder 15.”

(END OF TAPE – The first tower collapses)

(To see a longer transcript click here.)

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On a mission to be and inspire us all to be better humans, to strengthen fire families & marriages, to nurture and encourage fire wives, do "good business" in all areas of my life and of course, love on my 4 kids.

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