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row6-New York

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I grew up in Valley Stream, Long Island. I was the second child, oldest male, out of six children to a New York City firefighter. So I'm sort of familiar with the trade. I think the only time I've ever felt fear on this job was the days directly after 9/11. If you weren't in New York at that time, it's very hard to put into words. But New Yorkers just have that natural arrogance and natural aggressiveness and cockyness; and we can take it and we can get over everything. And that really peeled back those kind of emotions from us. And you felt raw; you felt vulnerable and you felt scared. And that's something that I'm not used to feeling--and when you see it on the faces of people in this city that you pass every day, it really hammers it home. They look to you as somebody to give them a little bit of support and--you know--we'd look back at them and they would see we were as scared as they were. But just like--I think--everybody, the fear didn't stop you. The fear gave you an ability to go forward. But I remember the day after 9/11, when I started feeling a little more confident, was when the Yankees played at Yankee Stadium-- the first game they had in New York after 9/11. It was just like things got back a little bit to normal and it just felt like, okay--we can handle this; we'll take it from here. And that's what I remember. [USA FEARS] [NOBODY] [PLAY BALL] You would hear stories about a guy that was supposed to be here, but for some reason he needed to get a drink, and he went over here and he survived. You start hearing about these tiny little tales that, when you look at the bigger picture, you start weaving it together; and how can you not say to yourself that out of this heinous act, there was an immense goodness that came out of it? You know--maybe I'm just an optimist. I don't know--but you can't come away from that day and not think of the huge kindness that came out of people around the globe. You look for the smallest amount of things to put together to get a little bit of traction to make yourself go on to the next smallest thing and try to rebuild. And those were the beginnings of rebuilding that came right out of the ashes of that day. As a forty-seven year old father of two kids, it's not about the money. It's about spending time with your kids. It's about being on the athletic field when your kid recovers that fumble and makes his first touchdown-- or makes the fumble that loses the game. Or it's about going to the dance competition for your daughter when she gets her solo. It's about--all those things mean more to me now than what I thought was important when I was a kid and I guess that's what being a human in the human race is all about. It's--the small things really mean more than the larger things.

Video Details

Duration: 3 minutes and 58 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Genre: None
Views: 520
Posted by: zad on Sep 16, 2011

row6 New York

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