I am a New Yorker. I remember September 11, 2001.
I remember running to work at the SCI FI Channel for the first and (so far) only time in my life. I remember watching the towers fall.
I remember policemen, firefighters, and EMTs charging into burning towers so many others were desperate to get out of.
I remember every fire engine and ladder company in the city racing toward the disaster, along with every ambulance and police car.
I remember New Yorkers lining up for blocks, trying to donate blood because we held out hope there would be people in need, people we could help.
I remember me and my fellow New Yorkers buying and bringing bottled water to first responders.
I remember loyal rescue dogs who followed their handlers into a smoky hellscape to search for survivors.
I remember legions of unthanked construction workers, firefighters, police, and people from every walk of life digging through smoldering rubble, on through the night, and for days afterward, relentless in their search for one more person to save.
I remember the name Rick Rescorla, a man whose entire career was about safeguarding the lives of those who worked in the World Trade Center. I remember that his monthly drills and security recommendations helped speed the evacuation of the Twin Towers and likely saved thousands of lives that might otherwise have been lost.
I remember the story of passengers on a hijacked airliner who fought back and forced their plane down on a lonely stretch of ground rather than see it used to attack another target full of unsuspecting civilians.
I don’t care to remember the names of the villains who perpetrated that day of infamy. They don’t deserve my remembrance.
I remember the heroes.