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Teen Talk

September 10, 2011

On the Go: Remember those who helped after attacks

"September 11, 2001- Everybody is listening to the President talk on T.V. I don't want to write down what he is talking about though because I don't want to remember it."

Funny, how that happens. Going from a little girl trying so desperately to forget the events of a day as to even avoiding writing down detailed events in her brand-new diary, to a barely adult racking her brain for more personal accounts of the day than her 8-year-old self can remember.

Some things I can remember perfectly; snippets of images forever trapped in my memory. My elementary-school teacher, crying inconsolably in front of the 20 young faces staring up at her in silent confusion. The squeak of the wheels on the television cart as it was rolled into our classroom to show us the television footage. Conversations between unsure third-graders, trying to work through with one another what we just saw. My mother picking my sister and me up from school that afternoon, trying and failing to answer our immediate question: "Why?"

Ten years ago this weekend, the United States of America was the victim of merciless attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and possibly an attempt at the White House. The loss faced on 9/11 remains great. Nearly 3,000 individuals lost their lives in the attacks, innocent victims of a senseless crime against humanity.

But the loss does not stop there. The loss ever continues for a nation of mourners. It seems as though almost everyone has a loved one or knows someone with a loved one who was killed, injured or affected on 9/11.

It's a natural reaction to remember the attacks on 9/11 with anger, resembled in the fury that rippled through the nation on the wake of the attacks.

The attacks are backed by no logic, carried out by individuals devoid of any true human nature.

They remain senseless acts of terror meant to cause panic and terrify an entire nation. There is a natural place for that anger -- this should never have happened.

But there is a much larger place reserved for remembrance and honor.

This is the place where we should focus our attention today. Many lost their lives that day, but many were saved thanks to the truly heroic efforts of the FDNY, NYPD, EMTs, local medical staff, military personnel and countless other rescue workers from the surrounding areas that stepped in on a moment's notice to assist. Volunteers with the rescue and recovery efforts span numerous people and professions, from local merchants who stepped in to volunteer food and water, to local captains and crews of individually owned boats who volunteered to help with evacuation and provide necessary supplies and water. Local amateur radio stations played a vital role in the recovery effort, establishing communications and maintaining emergency networks and stepping in to volunteer their services whenever needed. Countless other American Red Cross volunteers, steelworkers, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, machinists, ironworkers and numerous others stepped in to assist with recovery efforts. The amount of selfless support given without a second thought is astounding, and truly inspiring.

Ten years later, their sacrifice remains as profound as ever. Take a moment today to reflect and remember those who lost their lives. Take a moment to support their family and friends. Take a moment to truly appreciate those who so selflessly responded -- from locals in the area, to those at the scene of the attacks.

Always keep those currently fighting for our freedom in mind. Their sacrifice is immeasurable, and our support will be unwavering.

Adrian Adamo, a 2011 graduate of Oneonta High School, is a freshman at Emerson College in Boston. 'Teen Talk' columns can be found at www. thedailystar.com/teentalk.

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