Say a prayer for the victims and rescue workers

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 12, 2001

I had intended to write this column to talk about the sports happenings in and around Butler County this week, but suddenly, that all seems like a moot point.

That is, as I am writing this column, it is Tuesday morning, and the shock is still setting in on the morning's events around the country.

Please, if you will, stop what you are doing for a moment, and say a prayer for all the victims and their families surrounding the massive destruction and terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center Buildings, the Pentagon, and other places that have been targeted for destruction.

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But as you do, also say a prayer for the rescue workers, firefighters, police officers, doctors, nurses, and anyone else involved in the disasters both in New York and Washington, D.C.

I can tell you from my own experience as both a firefighter and police officer that nothing can prepare a person for being faced with massive casualties.

The shock had only begun to set in for those people in and around the nation's busiest metropolis, and business epicenter of the world, when they were beginning to plot ways to rescue those still in the twin towers, and battle the fires.

But after rescue workers became involved in the situation, it grew worse, as first one then the other building totally collapsed.

While certainly many innocent victims were both injured and killed in the initial events involving the crashing aircraft, there were even more people involved once rescue personnel began entering the building, sacrificing their own lives for those of the victims in the buildings.

It takes a special breed of person to face danger for the sake of others.

My own explanation of myself when I was in that occupation was that I surely must be crazy, because most people were running away from fire and danger, while I and my colleagues were running into it.

Also, while thinking of the victims and all the emergency personnel, please, regardless of your particular political party of preference, think of those that we have placed, through our nation's great democratic process, in responsible governmental positions.

In speaking this morning to a friend of mine who is a retired Secret Service agent, he told me that although contingency plans are constantly rehearsed, and worst case scenarios' gone through, there is actually no real way to prepare for an event of this magnitude.

Pray for our President, and also the military leaders who will be spending the coming days and weeks making decisions to protect our sovereign nation.

Also pray, if you are a praying person, for those even in our own community that have relatives in the New York and Washington, D.C. areas, either those that are visiting, or perhaps employed in the areas.

I personally grew up in the suburbs of New York, in a community called Teaneck, New Jersey. I remember being able to see the World Trade Center, and the Empire State Building, right from my back yard.

I too, am sure that although at this moment I cannot call any names of friends who worked at the World Trade Center, I probably would recognize them if their names were mentioned.

Most importantly, try if you will not to be overcritical of anyone involved in the rescue and cleanup efforts n they are doing what they are trained to do, and honestly, are probably working right now on pure adrenaline, on "automatic" so to speak, selflessly.

So, even if you are not of a praying mind, at least pause for a moment, and think of those who will be involved in this national crisis, and wish for them the guidance and clear-minded thought to do what they must to insure the safety of ours, the most powerful nation in the world!