Today is the 19th anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001. If you were older than a child, you likely have a distinct memory of that day. I certainly do.
This morning I wondered what I could say. There are lots of things that can be said. Others are saying them, many better than I could. Then I saw this article in military.com about California National Guard saving over 200 stranded campers in the fires that are ravaging that state right now. These pilots flew into conditions which were totally unsuitable. They had to use night vision goggles to try to see through the smoke. Flames and smoke were everywhere. Many of the campers were injured. Making multiple trips, many after dark, they got them all out.
The flying conditions were hazardous. No one could have faulted these part-time military flyers for declaring that it couldn’t be done. In fact, that is what they were advised. However, like hundreds of firemen and police on 9/11, they rushed into danger, placing their own lives at risk to save strangers.
The story from California has a happy ending. What happened 19 years ago did not. But this story is a reminder of the day-to-day quiet heroism of so many among our military and first responders. On this anniversary, let’s take a few minutes to appreciate such unsung heroes. They deserve it.