My first 9/11 away from the US. How evermore chilling it is to understand what global the effects were. How not only Americans, but Europeons dropped what they were doing in complete disarray of what they witnessed.
When I wear my fire department t-shirt around Europe, people sometimes ask me about it. It’s interesting to get the same praise from people who have never stepped foot on American soil. When I asked my Dutch girlfriend why she thinks American Firefighters receive so much recognition from non-Americans, she tells me that it’s because of 9/11.
I recently moved into a neighborhood in Amsterdam with a Muslim majority population. My neighbor genuinely started conversation with me when I arrived and continues to do so with much enthusiasm and warmth. He tells me he thinks America is so cool and wishes to visit. My girlfriend tells me that it’s common for Muslims here in Holland to have a liking for the US. It’s been quite an experience so far.
With that said, I too remember 9/11 and the craziness that went down. Today I again wear my fire department shirt because of the 343 uniformed men and women who went down with those towers as well as the countless un-uniformed and uncounted for. This year I’m more proud of the fire service in a different way. Because we don’t ever forget.