Sundays are a day of hope and prayer……………………and remembrance. This Sunday sadly will bring back Summit’s most painful memories to our friends and neighbors who suffered losses ten years ago - losses that an entire community mourned.
My real love is coaching our children and in my 16 years I will have coached almost 1,000 of them. I was coaching 6th grade football back in 2001 and had a young man that lost his dad in the Towers. We tried in some way to ease the pain, but nothing can ease the pain of a young boy who loses his Dad. Today, I am coaching a 4th grade football team – some 60 terrific young men. It occurred to me that most of them had not yet even been born in 9/11/ 01. The first plane struck the World Trade Center at 8:46 am. Some of you will be on the Village Green on Sunday at that time. I will be on a football field warming up our 4th graders for their very first game. We are now in a different generation. Our role is to provide for and educate our children. Part of that education is remembrance.
I am the son of a D-Day veteran and am myself a Vietnam-era veteran. My father’s generation has been called the “Greatest Generation.” Their actions were epic and should always be honored. The horror of the Vietnam era and the political blundering that destroyed so many lives made politicians want us all to forget that time. This country’s treatment of our veterans back then was tragic as they tried to cover up their own errors. I often wondered what we would call the next generation. 9/11 answered that question. The children and grand children of the “Greatest Generation” have and continue to serve in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere with courage, honor and distinction. They truly are the next great generation. We have a special obligation to our young children to be the reminder of 9/11, our Pearl Harbor. We will someday need them to be a great generation.
We have hometown heroes and we need to honor them now. We have a special organization originated here in Summit by Dr. Chris Truhe, Bonds of Courage. They support our service men and women around the world. You can help – go to www.bondsofcourage.org. Make that your contribution for your 9/11 remembrance.
Summit’s first responders were incredible 10 years ago as units from all areas responded to New York City’s need for help. You can also help by making a contribution to the Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad as thanks for what they have done and will continue to do for us. Our Fire Department was heroic during those fateful days. Our FD operates with less men per battalion than any fire department in the state. They spent days helping NYC without sleep while fighting fatigue to keep us safe here at home. They have and continue to operate short staffed, consistently putting themselves at risk. The next time you see them participating in one of our many wonderful community events, thank them for their service.
On 9/11, please remember……………………and then give thanks in some way to our current greatest generation.