Hi, Dear Friends. I was given the privilege of speaking at the Millville, NJ 911 Memorial Service with some fine dignitaries. I shared one of the stories about Ground Zero Heroes out of our book, Triumph Over Terror.
First responders, emergency workers, firefighters, police officers, construction workers, search and rescue teams, search and recovery teams, and all the volunteers associated with the war-zone clean-up of ruin and loss–these were the true Ground Zero Heroes. Showing strength deep within their souls, these men and women embodied the definition of endurance, heart, and true grit.
These heroes worked long hours during the day and then worked more hours at night under blazing lights. Committed to teamwork, they worked to the point of exhaustion and beyond, single-minded in purpose and laser-focused on the job at hand. After the hope of finding survivors faded, they doggedly searched for remains of friends and civilians.
Danger surrounded them. Cave-ins occurred without warning. The air they breathed contained not only the stench of death, but also asbestos particles, fiberglass splinters, glass fibers, toxic chemicals, and incinerated human remains–air that could poison their futures.
Quiet and unassuming, the word “quit” did not exist in the Ground Zero Heroes’ vocabulary. They measured time not in billable hours, but how well they accomplished each job.
Some didn’t like the label “hero.” Many brushed it off, insisting, “I’m just doing my job,” or “I’m too busy to think of that nonsense.” In a place where others lost their lives, some refused to be called heroes.
A few said, “It’s hard to be called a hero when you feel so beaten down and demoralized.” But these folks rose up out of the ashes and served well. They deserve to be called heroes.
It was truly an honor to share with the Millville Fire Department, Police Department, Emergency Services, and the people of Millville, NJ.
Triumph Over Terror is at Bogart’s Book Store on 103 High Street, Millville, NJ or on Amazon. The Kindle version of the book is available now for preorder and will be out September 15. It will be in bookstores around the country soon.
Thanks again and God bless you folks. Bob Ossler Chaplain