This past Friday, Sept. 11, was Patriots’ Day. It marked the 19th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. For the current generation, this was their equivalent of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor of Dec. 7, 1941. It was another “Day of Infamy.”
More than 3,000 Americans were killed when terrorists crashed hijacked airliners into the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon outside Washington, D.C. and a field in Pennsylvania after passengers tried to retake control of the plane.
These were the deadliest attacks on American soil since the Civil War.
Here’s something to consider: the police officers who are being so demonized by leftists like the Black Lives Matter organization ran into the World Trade Center to try to get people out after it was hit by the airplanes. The police, who are now facing calls for them to be defunded or even abolished, put their lives on the line to save people in those buildings.
It wasn’t just police officers, either. The New York Fire Department had their largest single-day loss of personnel in their history. By late in the day on Sept. 11, 2001, the NYFD was putting out calls for mutual aid. That had never happened before.
It takes a special kind of person to be a first responder, like police officers, fire fighters, and emergency medical personnel. You have to do things most people wouldn’t do, and see things most people will never see. If you’re a first responder, you go into places most people are trying to get out of.
We can see that same spirit in the first responders who are dealing with the huge wildfires in California, Oregon and the State of Washington. These people do what they do because they care about people and want to save lives. That’s why they chose their line of work.
I must state I was incensed when I learned NBA players knelt for the National Anthem on Sept. 11. Yes, I agree black lives matter. Yes, I want justice for those who have been mistreated by the police. Yes, they have a right to protest. However, on the anniversary of the day when thousands of innocent lives (including black lives) were lost and police officers demonstrated bravery and compassion above and beyond what could be expected of human beings, you’d think these athletes could be respectful and set aside their protests for one day.
Professional athletes aren’t heroes. They’re people who are very good at playing games, and some may do heroic things. Many have displayed kindness, compassion and generosity in what they give back to their communities. Some are grateful for being allowed to do what they do. However, when it comes to being heroes, first responders like police officers and fire fighters are the real heroes.
Police officers, fire fighters, EMS personnel and other first responders deserve our respect. They are doing tough, dirty jobs that most of us couldn’t do. They are awesome, and they deserve our thanks and our praise.