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The 9-11 blog

Editor’s note: Winnipeg firefighter Jay Shaw, a regular contributor to Fire Fighting in Canada, is in New York City for the 10th anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. Jay and his travel companions, Winnipeg firefighter Phil Kennedy and Calgary firefighter Darren Tomczak, will check in regularly.

New York City, Sept. 10, 2011 - It’s magnificent, and enormous, the 16-acre site where almost 3,000 innocent victims were murdered.  

September 10, 2011
By Jay Shaw

Editor’s note: Winnipeg firefighter Jay Shaw, a regular contributor to Fire Fighting in Canada, is in New York City for the 10th anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. Jay and his travel companions, Winnipeg firefighter Phil Kennedy and Calgary firefighter Darren Tomczak, will check in regularly.

New York City, Sept. 10, 2011 – It’s magnificent, and enormous, the 16-acre site where almost 3,000 innocent victims were murdered.  

My eyes are drawn to the sky, where the towers used to be. I’ve never seen them but the iconic symbols of American capitalism have been enshrined in my head through movies such as Wall Street, Crocodile Dundee, and Miracle on 34th Street.  

Tonight, the city will illuminate the sky with 88 lights shining two perfect beams into the sky, filling the eerie void where the towers once stood. We need to get to an elevated position to see the site in its true likeness.   

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I’m not sure what I’m feeling; there are hundreds of people down here. I wonder who is a tourist, a New York City firefighter, perhaps a survivor with a story. 

The people of New York have, for the most part, been taking all the extra tourists and media attention in stride; after all, it is New York! A few New Yorkers I have spoken to have told me how they cannot believe 10 years have past.  

Last night at Brothers Meeting Brothers, we were witness to a very moving, 10-piece drum and bagpipe performance by the FDNY Emerald Society. This performance was amazing, and left a crowd of a few hundred on their feet in admiration. We met firefighters from the U.K., San Diego, Chicago, Los Angeles, Memphis and Texas, all here for one purpose – to pay respects to a job and a department that lost so much. I toasted with a marine, a sailor from the USS New York, and it was my privilege to shake the hand of a Special Ops Navy Seal from Team 6, the very team that hunted down Osama Bin Laden. 

 piper  
FDNY piper Kevin O’Connor of the Emerald Society during Friday night’s ceremonies. Photo by Jay Shaw.


 

While I have been here less than 24 hours, the city is obviously on high alert. There are pockets of NYPD on every corner, it seems, and we spoke to many of them and offered our condolences on the 23 members they lost on 9-11.  

Today is logistics, planning, and then some operations as we get our bearings head to the FDNY fire zone store, and visit Engine 44 house.