The Cost of Courage: September 11th Remembered
September 11, 2017
It was a typical Tuesday morning in NYC, with the hustle-and-bustle of people on their way to work. Local coffee shops and cafes provided the aromatic-backdrop of fresh-brewed coffee and fried hash browns. The sun rose, the people went, the restaurants cooked, businesses opened as usual - life was normal.
And yet, evil lurked unbelievably close.
The FDNY Ladder 3 brigade, led by Captain Patrick Brown (Paddy), got the call heard round the world: The World Trade Center, it’s North Tower, had been hit by a battering ram. American Airlines Flight 11, had careened into floors 93-99 of the building, killing those on board and hundreds of unsuspecting people inside.
Capt. Paddy's team sprung to action. Located close to the Twin Towers, his company were one of the first on the scene. There, they united with hundreds of other first responders and entered the crippled North Tower.
In spite of fear, these men and women plunged into the dark of unknown to rescue those stranded, hurt, and immobilized.
At their own peril, Ladder 3 played a pivotal role in a rescue mission that managed to safely evacuate over 25,000 people from the World Trade Center, during one of the most devastating events in U.S. history.
At 9:58am, the South Tower collapsed. Massive clouds of debris engulfed the surrounding streets, wreaking havoc on communication between command posts and FDNY teams; Ladder 3 being among them. Those inside the North Tower were unaware of the South’s collapse and the impending danger that would consume them.
The call came through to a handful of fire chiefs: it was time to evacuate. The North Tower would probably fall, like it’s kin had. Some teams got the call, some didn’t; and some chose to not to leave until all were safe.
At 10:28am, the North Tower collapsed. 11 members of Ladder 3 were killed, Captain Patrick Brown among them. Almost 3,000 people lost their lives, among them, 346 active and retired firefighters of the FDNY, the largest loss of any emergency response agency in history.
The image below shows the Ladder 3 Company truck, damaged when the North Tower fell, demolishing the front end of the rig.
The True Cost of Courage and Honor
To this day, there is no denying the fact that the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history turned more than a few ordinary Americans into true unsung heroes.
Along with Paddy Brown and his team with Ladder 3, hundreds of firefighters, medics, police officers, and civilians went above and beyond in trying to save lives and ultimately prevented the tragedy from being even worse. And we must not forget those who followed them — the over 6,100 soldiers who lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan to protect us, not to mention the thousands more who have been seriously wounded.
The Home of the Brave
Though America is not perfect (and neither are her people), she is exceptional. A land defined by liberty, justice, and freedom. A country not centered around the governing authorities, but her people. A home for all men and women, where, even in trial, bravery shines forth.
This is a land worth fighting for. We are a people worth fighting for.
What Will Be Your Legacy?
Captain Patrick Brown’s remains were recovered from the rubble of the North Tower on December 14th, 2001. At his memorial mass, thousands packed the enormous church to overflowing, while firefighters lined up three and four deep, as far as the eye could see on Fifth Avenue, to honor and respect the legendary NYC Firefighter.
His legacy, influence, patriotism, and commitment to the American people, serve as a monument to both the cost and value of liberty. On 9.11, Captain Paddy Brown, the Ladder 3 Company, the US military, and hundreds of first responders put their lives on the line, standing against terror, defending Liberty. Their stories have been woven into the fabric of our great nation, for, America is not her government, but her people.
In honor of Captain Paddy Brown, and the thousands of Americans who have heroically put their own lives at risk to protect our great country and the liberty which defines us, we invite you to join us as we reflect on the cost of defending our country, our liberty, and our families.
Posted in The Liberty Dispatch Blog By Defender Gear