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The 343

On this very day 6 years ago, 343 firefighters died. I have wondered how many of them entered those buildings, knowing that they would not exit. They went in anyway, in the hope that they could save some lives.

I have an envelope in my locker, as many firefighters do. Contained in that envelope is a series of letters, written to various friends and family. There are messages in there for each person. Instructions, goodbyes, all of the things we would like our family to hear or to know, should the unthinkable happen. Those letters were VERY difficult to write. When my locker gets cleaned out and the contents given to my family, those letters keep my family from feeling guilty or ashamed if they forgot to say how they felt.

I was at work myself that morning, going about my daily routine. If the time comes that I am forced to make that decision, I hope that I have the courage to make the right decision, and no matter how things turn out, that my decision is the right one.

Right for me, for my family, and for the people I have sworn to protect.