A 9.11 Tribute: Honoring Victims and Heroes 12 Years Later

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Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of September 11, 2001. We reflect and honor these heroes, their families, co-workers, firefighters, police, EMT's and our troops and their families. In remembrance of the attacks on America on September 11th 2001, today's blog is written by Pete Raumann who wrote these words from a hotel room in New York on September 16, 2001. Also included below is a video Tribute to the Victims of 9.11 is also included below.

The Attack on America...a Small Task for a Big Cause...Like most Americans, I sat in front of my T.V. in complete denial that something like this could actually happen. I watched every update for days, and I needed to do something to help. So, I donated money. I tried giving blood, but the Red Cross told me to wait a week or so. I ran out to buy an American flag. But none were to be found anywhere.

"What more could I do?", I kept asking myself. I quickly realized that I simply do not have any skills that would be helpful. I felt useless. While watching the news Thursday night (9/13/2001), I saw a desperate plea for doctors, nurses, rescue, police, etc. But again, nothing I was skilled in. I started getting tired of watching T.V. Not because I was tired of the situation, I was tired of not being able to do anything to help. Which I believe I can say was a common feeling most Americans had.

The Phone Call... Then something incredible happened. While I was at work on Friday evening, I got a call that I was proud to get. It was a call for help. The Department of Health in Manhattan (a block away from ground zero) needed assistance moving and rebuilding their computer network.

The Department of Health needed to be back in running order as soon as possible to be able to deal with the WTC, Pentagon and Flight 93 disasters.

So they called on the company I work for, Novell, and other companies to come help and get them online again. Needless to say, I jumped at the chance to help. This may be a small task, but at least I get a chance to really do something to help.

I immediately hopped in the car, drove home, packed a bag, kissed my wife Mary, and my daughter Katelynn good-bye and drove towards New York. I arrived at my hotel in New Jersey at about 3 a.m. (Saturday morning), slept for 3 hours and then started my journey to Manhattan with my friend and co-worker from N.J., Sam.

Our Day Begins... At 9 a.m. Saturday morning, Sam and I met with three other Novell Engineers and about 30 Engineers from other companies at Grand Central Station (I'm in a red shirt with white and blue sleeves, Sam is to my left). We broke up into teams and got our assignments.

Then, we signed a waiver form and started for the trains. Off we went to lower Manhattan...

In Lower Manhattan...Once we arrived (about ten blocks from Ground Zero), we got together and walked to the first D.O.H. (Dept. of Health) building.

There, we were armed with masks, flashlights, extra batteries and water. We were told that some of the buildings that we are going to are very close to Ground Zero, have no lights and are full of the dust and debris from the WTC collapse.

Off we went...We waited for an hour, or so, at the main D.O.H. building for a police escort to take us to our designated spots. When they arrived, we hopped in our D.O.H. vans and started down the street...

Evidence that something big had happened became quite obvious almost immediately. We were taken through Police and Army barricades and moved closer and closer to Ground Zero.

Our first glimpse of disaster...Through the window, in the distance, I could see nothing but wreckage, smoke, mounds of rubble and hundreds of rescue workers. We drove to a building that was about five blocks away from the remains of the WTC.

The job here, simply remove the D.O.H. servers from the building and get them on the truck. This building had power but no connectivity to the internet. FYI, the main central office for the internet service was in building 7, which collapsed. So, we needed to move this equipment to a place that was online with the rest of the world.

One block from Ground Zero....The sites we saw next, we'll never forget...

Finish this story in its entirety, view photos and much more at 911-tribute.net.
Written by Pete Raumann on September 16, 2001 and graciously shared above on 9.11.13.

It's also a one year anniversary of the Benghazi attacks. Take a moment to reflect on their lives and families and offer a prayer that one day their murderers will be brought to justice.

A Tribute to the Victims of September 11, 2001   

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