As I woke up on September 11, 2015, I couldn’t help but think back 14 years ago to that fateful day none of us will soon forget. I remember it like yesterday as I am sure most of you do. At that time, I was working at the Marietta Police Department and we were in a Command Staff meeting. Once the first plane hit, the meeting ended and all of us were glued to the television for the next several hours in disbelief.
Policing changed forever that day.
The image that I remember most is the firefighters and police officers running toward the danger, climbing the stairs and doing everything they could to save as many people as possible. In the end, many of them sacrificed their lives in service to others. In total, 343 firefighters and 60 police officers died that day.
I am so thankful that I live in a country where such brave men and women still put on a uniform each day; still run toward the danger; and still protect me and my family. Imagine a country where that wasn’t the case. There would be chaos and anarchy.
I thought about the state of police/community relations today. In many communities, it seems like they want the police to go away. This attitude is in stark contrast to the attitude of the country toward police after 9/11. The country united after the terrorist attack and really pulled together in support of all first responders. Today, we are a country divided.
As we remember the many sacrifices on 9/11, I pray that we never forget what we lost and always remember what we have. We live in the greatest country in the world and are protected by the most professional, educated and dedicated public servants in our history.
I also smiled and thought about my daughter, Hannah, who was born on this date in 1991.