First Responders: Our Ingratitude

Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch Huffington Post

Our collective ingratitude to the 9/11 first responders is a political and moral travesty.

Ingratitude is among the worst of human attributes. Religion teaches us that a person who is incapable of gratitude is a person who is overly selfish and self-absorbed. Gratitude nurtures compassion and humility. It is a fundamental religious value because it promotes an understanding of how small and vulnerable we human beings really are. None of us would be what we are without the support of many others. All of us at some point in our lives will need the assistance of many others simply to survive.

Gratitude is the state of mind that recognizes the good people do for us. It is the state of mind that wants to reciprocate a kindness shown to us. Some of these kindnesses are, perhaps, simply our responsibility, as, say, a doctor who successfully treats a patient. But even in this realm a grateful person lives his life in such a way as to acknowledge the unique contributions to our well being that, but for such action on the part of another, our lives would be worse. Of course, all the more so when someone benefits us having no special obligation to do so, but is motivated by that mysterious impulse that only humans have to serve someone else’s interest when no benefit to us is apparent, except, perhaps, the good feeling that doing something good for another provides us.

We hardly think about first responders until we need them. These are the people who, whether it is their job or not, jump into the fray first. They face the threat when no one else is willing or able. Who thought of firefighters in New York before 9/11? Who thinks of firefighters today, 14 years later? Read More »

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Bill to create September 11th Remembrance Day

Ryan Haas Jewish Political News & Updates  

Just last month, the nation paused to remember and pay their respects to the [victims of] September 11th terrorist attacks.

That was 14 years ago.

Perhaps that’s why Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Broad Channel) received concerns from first responders and victims’ families that young generations were increasingly unaware of the drastic loss and awe-inspiring heroism on that day. In response, Goldfeder recently introduced new legislation, creating the September 11th Remembrance Day in schools across the state.

“For so many families in southern Queens and Rockaway, the sense of loss and pain that we feel each September 11th is still so strong,” Assemblyman Goldfeder said. “For us, it is the day a husband or wife, son or daughter didn’t come home from work. It is when so many of our police officers, fire fighters and first responders gave the fullest measure of sacrifice so that others could survive that horrible day. My bill will ensure that students in New York have the chance to learn about September 11th and appreciate what it means to everyone that lived through this defining moment in our nation’s history.” Read More »

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Tony Blair’s 9/11 Memorial Museum speech on Islamic extremism in full

International Business Times

Tony Blair delivers the 9/11 Memorial Museum speech in New York

“The terrorist attack of September 11th 2001 destroyed lives and changed lives. It is impossible to be here without feeling an immense emotional connection to the victims, their families and to this city and this country. So much savage grief and injustice meted out in a single day by an act of unspeakable and incomprehensible evil: unspeakable because of its barbarity; incomprehensible because it was carried out in the name of religious faith.

We have spent the years since then trying to make sense of it and to combat those who share the world view which led to it. For me, it was the determining moment of my premiership. On that day and subsequently I thought the duty of my country was to stand – as I put it – ‘shoulder to shoulder’ with America.

However in the time which followed and particularly through the campaigns in Afghanistan and then Iraq and through our own terror attack of 7th July 2005 in London, I studied this issue of extremism – its character, causes and consequences. Read More »

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