Friday, September 11, 2009
Remembering Donald J. McIntyre
I am writing today at the very hour of your great sacrifice, eight years to the day and hour that you ran from one burning building to another in a heroic effort to save the lives of the people in those buildings. You are a hero Don. There are hundreds of people who are alive today because of what you did when the chips were down and duty called. You are my hero and always will be.
You and 36 others laid down your lives so that others might live. You are the heroes of the Port Authority Police Department. Just as you reacted with courage on the first attempt to destroy the World Trade Center, the thought of abandoning your post never entered your mind and you saw only your duty: protecting the people you swore to protect.
I went to the World Trade Center only once in my life in early 2001. I wonder to this day if we somehow saw each other or passed each other in this life. But whether I saw you or not, I saw others that day who stood with you when fate called. The towers you guarded are gone but the courage of your deeds on 911 can only be destroyed by being erased from human memory and that, as long as this nation exists,will never happen. I keep the badge from my visit and look at it each year on 911 and remember.
I thought about writing this letter to your family, but what can I say about you that they didn't already know? I never had the pleasure of meeting you; indeed, it is presumptuous of me to even think that you might like me. We have almost nothing in common other than being born in the United States of America. I don't feel I have the right to bother or intrude on them in any way. So I write this letter here to you. They have the right to their privacy and, should they, by some chance, ever see these words they can see that I, and anyone else who cares about what is good in this world, feel an emptiness in our hearts for their loss and wish there was someway that you could be restored to them. They will know you really matter to us and they, as your family, also matter. They should know that after September 11, until the end of my days I, we will remember and pause to think about people like you and your family. The McIntyres and all who were stricken that day and feel their loss every day are never forgotten as you are never forgotten.
I thank you for your sacrifice and know the lives you saved that terrible day eight years ago will somehow change the world in a better way because all that is good in this world flows from the standard you set for the entire world to follow.
Let your memory forever be a blessing.
I honor Christopher Paul Slattery.