Courier-Gazette Editorial and History Photo, Sept. 7

By The Courier-Gazette Editorial Board | Sep 07, 2017
Source: File photo REMEMBER THE TYLER SCHOOL -- This photo shows the first-grade students from the Tyler School, which used to be on Warren Street, in 1934. The school opened in 1888 and was later named for the first principal, Alden Tyler, according to "Shore Village Story." Tyler's daughter, Mary C. Tyler, taught in city schools for 50 years. The school closed in 1962 and was later torn down.

9/11: Never forget

At about 8:45 a.m. on the sunny Tuesday morning of Sept. 11, 2001, our perception of the world and our place in it changed, as a commercial airliner controlled by hijackers crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center.

By 10:30 a.m., both towers had collapsed, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., had been struck by another hijacked plane and yet another had crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pa.

Nearly 3,000 were killed that morning; 2,753 in New York City; 184 in Washington, D.C.; 40 in Pennsylvania.

It was the beginning of a new era, one that would bring war, fear and divisive political debate, but it was also an event that reminded us that there are heroes in our communities.

Of the people killed in the attacks, 343 were New York City firefighters, 23 were city police officers and 37 were Port Authority officers.

That fall, American flags appeared on houses lining streets all over the nation, a display that might previously have been associated with July 4 celebrations. People volunteered to help in the cleanup effort.

It was not unlike the inspiring images we have seen in the past week of people helping rescue those in need in Texas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey's floodwaters.

Each year, the Rockland Professional Firefighters, local 1584, hold a 9/11 Memorial Ceremony at the Rockland Fire Station on Park Street.

"We will pay tribute to all of those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, and proudly recognize the brave men and women who protect and serve our community every day," states the announcement from Fire Chief Chris Whytock.

The event will be held this year at 9 a.m. For information or directions, call 594-0318.

We appreciate this effort of our local firefighters to honor the memory of 9/11. We also recognize that our local police, paramedics and firefighters have signed up to put themselves in harm's way to protect and serve the people of our communities, and they deserve appreciation for that.

We heal and move on, but never forget the lessons of 9/11.

Thanking volunteers

While we are on the topic of those who volunteer to serve their communities, we were sad to see the news of two top officers in the South Thomaston ambulance department resigning, citing lack of support from the town's Board of Selectmen.

The resignations leave an already short-handed department with the loss of nearly 70 years of combined experience. One is Assistant Director Richard Norman and the other Director Pat Dougherty.

All of the details of the dispute between these directors and the selectmen are not known at this point, so we will refrain from taking sides or casting any blame.

However, this story highlights something we are seeing across the Midcoast. It is increasingly a struggle to find all of the volunteers needed for these fire and EMS departments. Many have had to go to a paid model, at least to cover daytime hours when volunteers need to work to support their families. Eventually, we may see an increase in costs to our communities as full-time professional fire and EMS becomes the rule and not the exception.

For years, volunteers have filled needs and helped keep their neighbors safe and healthy by sacrificing their own time with their families, and sometimes time that could be devoted to their own careers. We cannot thank our volunteers in all areas of public service enough, so be sure to take that opportunity when you see one of your local firefighters or EMTs around town.

If you have time and a desire to serve your community, check in at your town office and see what needs to be done.

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.