Nov 01, 2002 08:16AM
By Don Kindred
I'll admit with only a tinge of guilt, that I didn't listen to all 2,800 names as they were read on September 11th. I couldn't even watch television. There is a subtle but distinct difference between never forgetting and constantly reminding.
What I came away with from that horrible tragedy were two stark images I will never forget. The image of two towers burning, smoke rising at different levels just before they fell. A horrible picture that constantly reminds me of the depths of cowardice and evil that men are capable of. And the other, of a two-word phrase that constantly reminds me of the heighth of man's heroism.
I don't even know all the details, but I have the image. Flight 93. It's like an old football story. Team's down at the end of the game. Looking out from their own end zone, deep against the odds, when there is no other way but giving all they have, right here, right now. Whatever may come, they will not go down without a fight. Maybe the whole game rides on the outcome, maybe the championship. ŒDo or die', they call it. And the captain says ... "Let"s roll"
The men of flight 93 brought new meaning to the Œdo or die' phrase. They knew they would pay the ultimate price for failure. But they would not be taken to slaughter. They would not let other Americans die with them. They were heroes, Davy Crockett at the Alamo type stuff. Some heroes they write stories about, others are enshrined in stone or digitized into DVD for our living rooms. Many will have earned that noble title by paying with what Lincoln called, "the last full measure of devotion". At a local observance at the Rib Trader Restaurant, local firemen took turns reading the 384 names of those Firefighters who died in New York on September 11, brave men who ran into a burning building when everyone else was trying to run out. Like many, I solemnly respect those who died tying to save the lives of others. But I tip my hat to those heroes who live, obscurely in our midst, whose acts of heroism are known only to those individuals whose lives they've impacted, and those they've spared. Equally brave men and women who were there at some critical moment. Who were strong enough, smart enough, and calm enough to do what needed to be done in a life-threatening, panic-filled situation. Those days when the morning coffee and the daily news is suddenly interrupted by a loud bell and the shuffling of feet, and the
captain says ..."Let's roll"
Enjoy the Holidays,
Don R. Kindred