Sunday, September 11, 2011

Bursting with Pride

Today, as we honor and remember the 10th anniversary of the tragic events of 9/11, my heart is bursting with pride.

Pride for a country united - for a much needed breath of life to our country's patriotism.

Pride for somber remembrances and unthinkable forgiveness rising from the ashes of seemingly insurmountable grief and loss.

Pride for stories of hope and perseverance after such tragedy.

And pride for my 5-year-old firefighter who showed me today that you don't have to be make a BIG difference.

The Brockport Fire Department held their 10th annual Vigil & Honor Guard at their 9/11 Firefighter's Memorial Monument.  I am sorry to say I've never made it to any part of this 12-hour long vigil with ceremonies at Noon ad 7 PM.  This year I promised Nathaniel we'd go to honor his fallen "brothers in arms".

At 5, I felt he was ready for a briefing on what 9/11 means to us.  I gave him a brief history of the events that transpired that day, punctuated by the key points that A LOT of people died that day, and 343 firefighters lost their lives trying to save people.

At the vigil, firefighters from across the county come to stand guard at the Memorial Monument for 10 minute "shifts".  Nate decided he wanted to stand guard with Daddy.  So he did.

There was a moving display of support by more than 600 motorcyclists who paraded through town.

Followed by a beautiful ceremony that was well-attended by the community.

It was then that duty kicked in for Nate and he decided he wanted to stand honor guard another shift.

And stand he did.  He stood so still and so proud, I could not have BEEN more proud of him.  For a little guy who barely sits still, not talking, goofing off, or moving for 10 whole minutes is a giant feat!  

A veteran came up to me while he stood guard and held up a crippled arm he received fighting for our freedoms.  He then told me seeing Nate stand up there with the other honor guards that day made it all worth it.

The respect he displayed and the maturity he demonstrated will forever be etched in my mind and on my heart.  I literally had tears in my eyes as I watched him stand there today.

Following his "shift", John Merklinger, Director of the 9-1-1 Center where Daddy works (who also stood guard with Nate), pulled him aside and presented him with his very own 9-1-1 Challenge coin saying that it was the only thing he needed to be prepared for the future that awaited him.

The Brockport Firefighter Nathaniel stood guard with also presented him with an official commemorative 9-11 coin, shook his hand, and thanked him.  To say these are now his most prized possessions is an understatement of grand proportions.

I can go on and on about how proud I am of my Bug.  There simply are no words. 

1 comment:

Amber said...

Oh Shana, this just melted my heart. Tears are flowing down my cheeks.