Cincinnati veteran firefighter Daryl Gordon lost his life this morning saving the lives of others. He, and every firefighter, are true heroes in every sense of the word. Their job, their passion, their life’s work is going where no one wants to go. They risk so much every time they run into a burning building. Today, individuals and families will be able to wake up tomorrow and the next day because of a brave man who put their future before his own. There is no higher calling. Let us keep his family in our prayers.
What were you doing on that horrific morning of September 11, 2001? I think for any of us who are old enough to have comprehended that day, we will never forget.
Tanya Hoggard, a Cincinnati flight attendant, was on a layover in France as the attacks struck the World Trade Center. It was a week later when she was able to return to the United States and something inside her compelled her to see the destruction firsthand. Her photography skills helped her grasp the magnitude of what had happened, feel it and begin her healing process.
When Tanya arrived in New York, she knew she had to volunteer at Ground Zero. There she met first responders, listened to their heartwarming and heart wrenching descriptions of letters and artwork received from children around the world – many addressed to ‘Dear Hero’.
“It made my heart race and my eyes water when I saw the healing power these letters and drawings had,” said Tanya. “I watched children unknowingly become heroes to their heroes. I decided that this emotion needed to be captured and cherished.”
She realized that these innocent letters would soon become a poignant part of a day that changed America forever. Tanya’s mission began, and to date, the “Dear Hero” collection has garnered more than three tons of history and memorabilia. The Dear Hero Collection has been donated to the 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York City and stands on the spot of the former World Trade Center.
“What these children wrote is a part of history. Teachers are using it for education. Other museums worldwide will borrow from it. It’s where it belongs. With any luck the children who created it will be able to see it and learn how inspiring they were to the rest of us,” Tanya said.
Thanks Tanya…for reminding us, that even amidst life’s darkest tragedies there is inspiration to be learned at the hearts and hands of everyday heroes.
I remember that Memorial Day weekend 36 years ago well. Friends of my parents told the story of escaping one of the horrific events of their life. Flames roared through the Beverly Hills Super Club, leveling it and claiming the lives of 165 people and injuring many more that evening. Everyone at their party thankfully got out but for those who survived, their memories will forever remain.
It was four brutal days and nights for the hundreds of area firefighters who worked tirelessly at that Southgate landmark. Those heroes saved more than 2,000 people in the deadliest Kentucky fire ever known.
Tonight, May 24, 2013, the Kentucky State Fire Marshall will honor the local firefighters with a presentation of the Medal of Valor, the highest honor for a fire department, to the Southgate Fire Department. And firefighters from throughout the region who battled the supper club fire will receive ribbons.
Dick Riesenberg was the Southgate fire chief at time of fire, and was the second firefighter to arrive to the club’s entrance when the emergency call came in to the Southgate Fire Department. He nearly lost 19 firefighters from his crew as the Cabaret Room ceiling was beginning to collapse from the heat. Dick lobbied for the award that is being given tonight.
“Our guys did a tremendous job, and I was very proud to be their leader that night,” he told Cindy Schroeder of the Kentucky Enquirer. “More than 2,000 people, or 96 percent of the people who were at the club that night, were saved.”
Every day millions of teachers are entrusted with the lofty responsibility of teaching our nation’s children. And, on any normal day, that is exactly what they do. But then, there are those not so normal days when the unthinkable becomes reality. When a shooter ravages the hallways or a powerful tornado pillages the classrooms. On those days, we are reminded these teachers who are entrusted with our future are also protectors and heroes.
Thank you to them!
When it comes to understanding everybody’s basic need for being included, Loveland Middle School student Samuel Wenger has a pretty good grasp. Actually, as a 7th grader, Samuel understands the meaning of friendship, acceptance and belonging better than many adults.
Just ask his close friend. Corey’s impulsiveness and language delays made getting to know others somewhat difficult. That is, until he met one of the most popular students in school. Samuel purposefully sought Corey out to include him at recess, in the lunch room, and in class; and, by mid-year, their classmates also came to realize Corey had gifts to share.
That story of genuine caring is not unique. In Runner’s Club, if a student was struggling to finish or seemed lonely, it was always Samuel who would break apart to join him or her.
However, don’t think for a second that I am writing about a boy who has everything easy. Samuel’s asthma has been the cause of many emergency trips to the nurse’s office, missed classes and missed recess. But he never misses finishing his homework and making the honor roll.
On November 7, 2012, he will be among five students and four adult leaders to be recognized by the Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky as Heroes of Character.
Adult honorees include Dr. Jane Knudson of Indian Hill Schools, Matthew Long of Green Recycling Works, Dan Hurley of Leadership Cincinnati, and George Vincent of Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP. Other Kids of Character honorees are Ty Battle of St. Vivian School in Cincinnati, Julia Feldmann of Union Elementary in West Chester, Brookln A Davis of Rees E Price Academy in Price Hill, Dillon Held of St. Veronica School in Anderson Township.