Sunday, September 11, 2005

On 9/11: Remembrance and Resolve

The following story from Steve Dunleavy's column in today's NY Post reminds us of the sacrifice and courage we witnessed on 9/11:

On that sunny day of Sept. 11, which will always be remembered as one of the darkest days in our history, Ed Beyea was trapped on the 27th floor of the south tower, imprisoned in his wheelchair.

Old Abe Zelmanowitz, Ed's co-worker and fast buddy at Blue Cross and Blue Shield, refused to leave his side. Capt. William Burke of Manhattan's Engine 21 had just evacuated his men from the approaching inferno.

He made his way to Ed and Abe, and Abe made a call to his family, telling them that it was OK because the firefighter was there.

"He would not leave these two friends and, of course, at 10:46, when the tower went down, we never saw him again," said Burke's sister Janet Roy. Janet will be one of today's recipients at the White House, at a ceremony presided over by President Bush, of the Medal of Valor.

All representatives of firefighters and cops killed on that day of monstrosity will be honored.

"I am honored, but Bill earned it," said Janet.

Along with sadness for the loss of Abe Zelmanowitz, Ed Beyea, William Burke and all the others comes gratitude and pride for who they were and what they did.

They're now part of our heritage. Our responsibility to them is to give life to America's heritage so that, as Lincoln would remind us, they will not have died in vain.