Here’s my rant on “Never Forget”. I hope it pisses you off.

Click here to listen to my ranr as I gave it on this week's Firefighter Netcast program

It’s been 10 years since the horror.  How are you remembering?

We see the networks ramp up their coverage of the tragedy with all the videos seen and various fire entities do their best to commemorate the lives of the three thousand taken that day- including 343 of our nation’s finest.

We’re remembering by hearing stories of individual lives lost and those left behind, by attending local tributes, by ringing bells, by running stairs, by wearing bracelets, by carrying photos around our necks and in our helmets, by wearing t-shirts admonishing us to “never forget,” by getting misty at the piper’s playing of Amazing Grace and the mournful notes of a bugler signaling Taps.

It’s the national response to an American tragedy with millions of Americans remembering/commemorating/memorializing- each in their own way.  It’s the way we do things.  We pause, we remember, and we move on.

Is it enough, Brother?  Hell no, it’s not.

Why are our Brothers and Sisters STILL waging a war to obtain benefits from the long-term effects of their heroic actions working “The Pile” in the hours, days, and weeks that followed?

The same government that told them- within days- that The Pile’s environment was “safe” to work in is STILL denying that the cancer ravaging their bodies is connected in any way.  Our Brothers and Sisters are being told that enough time hasn’t past to make that determination. 

How does this make you feel? 

The only reason I ask is that I’m not hearing much from any of you out there whenever these stories of how we are being treated bubble up to the surface.. 

This treatment of the “other heroes” of the days and weeks that followed the deaths of the 343 is ludicrous and they deserve much better than this.

This is pure crap and it pisses me off.  Where is your outrage?

Howabaout the unconscionable lack of progress made in one of the findings of the 9/11 commission wherein police and firefighters are STILL unable to communicate with each other when (not if) the next attack occurs?  Ten years later!

Again, How does this make you feel?  Again, I ask is that because I’m still hearing crickets as these stories get reported.

This is pure crap and it pisses me off.  Where is your outrage?

As we pause to remember the brave folks who gave their lives at The World Trade Center, The Pentagon, and in Shanksville, please- don’t forget so many of the others who are still suffering today from working the pile, and those who will suffer in the future because we have –to date- STILL FAILED to do everything we can to help us meet the challenges from the next attack.

So, go ahead and buy the t-shirt.  Wear the bracelet.  Climb the stairs with or without gear.  Put the stickers on your truck bumper and make your helmets look cool.

But I dare you to be outraged and to do more.  Do what the fallen would want you to do.  Make yourself heard whenever you feel that they would want you to do so.

Don’t forget – NEVER FORGET- that the attacks on America and indeed- America’s fire service continue to this very day. 

Never forget that.


Stay stoked, my friends.


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John Mitchell

Firefighter/Paramedic and a Lieutenant in suburban Chicago

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