Stateside on Sept. 11

A bus ride to the McCormick Convention Centre in Chicago was a fairly somber event. The radio station was re-playing some of the initial responses from service providers as the twin towers were attacked in New York City six years ago.
The bus was pretty quiet. Pedestrians milled past the vehicle, oblivious to the content playing out inside. Taxis raced past, many unable to play a radio as per the patron Bill of Rights in Chicago taxis. It would not be long before talk in the bus returned to business and what was on at the annual graphics convention that day.

During a break we slipped outdoors and noticed a fire truck in the distance. Its lights were on without sirens, and we figured it to be a paramedic call. Sure enough, when the truck came travelling our way, it was a special unit just for that purpose. What caught our eye was the motto emblazoned on the door-sides. “We’re here when you need us.”

For families involved in protective community services such as fire and police, the greatest of sacrifices were made by those men and women in uniform on that fatal Sept. 11. The enormity of that disaster would not be known for days. For many, particularly those who lost family members that day, their lives were changed forever.

As memories fade and public opinion turns seemingly against military engagement in foreign lands, we can only hope readers in our coverage area continue to be thankful for the many blessings of living in Wellington County. That thankfulness needs to include public institutions such as the police service and fire departments – and paramedics,  too – who are there with us, and working for us, at the worst of times.