A 9/11 Tribute to our Nation's First Responders
In honor of our nation's first responders who put their lives on the line each day to protect ours, Working Wardrobes pays a special tribute to these incredible men and women to commemorate 9/11.
As part of this tribute, we'd like to share a story from Michael Barrett, Director of the Working Wardrobes VetNet program.
A few years ago, Michael helped organize a trip to New York City with a group of U.S. combat-wounded servicemen who were joined by soldiers from the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) for a day of remembrance, reflection, and camaraderie.
The group toured Ground Zero and the 9/11 Memorial Museum and convened afterwards near the 16-foot-tall bronze statue known as the 'Horse Soldier' which depicts a Special Operations soldier in Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks. The statue commemorates the first time U.S. troops used horses in combat since 1942.
The sculpture now watches over the Ground Zero Memorial in New York City.
"We spoke openly about who we are, where we were deployed, and the events that led to our injuries," said Michael. "It was an amazing, powerful, and emotional day and I will cherish it for the rest of my life."
Michael says that soldiers from across the globe who were separated by some 5,700 miles came together that day to collectively channel the circumstances that would forever change their lives.
"As those who were wounded in battle, we have all found and/or gained a 'new normalcy' in life," he said. "And we all believe in giving back and continuing our service to each other – and our communities – in any way possible."
To the first responders who answered the call on that dreadful day in 2001, to those who continue to answer the call, and to soldiers, like Michael, whose lives were forever changed in battle, we recognize you, we commend you, and we appreciate you.
We stand with you in deepest gratitude, on 9/11 and each day throughout the year.