A hero is defined as a person noted for a courageous act. And courage it is said, is not the absence of fear, but rather, the judgment that something is more important than the fright felt.
This question originally appeared on Quora. Answer by Ross Cohen, ...
Wherever you are, on wrecked seafronts, in flooded basements, in scorched footprints of houses once homes, I ask you, First responders, to stop, for a moment. Put down your shovels, your ladders, your torches, your pliers, while New Yorkers everywhere stand in awe of you.
In a matter of minutes and hours, an act that was meant to freeze the country and our freedom, led to an outpouring of immediate action. If terrorism is about creating inaction, our country is about action.
We will remember the 2,977 people from more than 90 nations who were killed as a result of the horrific terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. More than 400 of them were people who responded first to the attacks.
You would think that the City would be doing everything possible to protect the health of police officers like Alonzo Harris, after all they have done for us. But you would be wrong.
Back on that clear September day in 2001, Stephen Siller ran all the way through the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, straight to the South Tower. The Tunnel To Towers 5K race retraces his heroic footsteps.
I'm waiting on West 33rd Street for my bus back to Washington, D.C. For those who have taken the DC2NY bus, or one of the others that shuttle between the two cities, you know this spot. It's right in front of that strip joint.
New documents show that federal officials in Washington and New York downplayed concerns about health risks, concealing information that might have helped people who were contaminated at Ground Zero.
We have yet to see the full toll of 9/11 among first responders, even 10 years out. All relevant resources should be made available to address the burden of illness shouldered by these brave souls who rushed toward the very thing most of us with just average courage would flee.
For thousands of workers, this anniversary of 9/11 is an especially deep measure of loss -- not just the immediate loss of life, but years of lost opportunities to make still-neglected victims whole.
At a time of profound cynicism, uncertainty and frustration within our own borders, if nothing else, these two amazing films remind us that in the very worst of times, it's possible to find the best in ourselves.
So for all our brothers and sisters everywhere who share the incarnate knowledge of what hatred can do, what rageful reactivity can occasion: this song for all who would rebuild a New City.
On this weekend's solemn anniversary, we honor the sacrifices of our first responders who ran into burning buildings while others ran out. The selflessness of our firefighters, police, EMTs and hazmat workers who were first on the scene inspired the world.
For many Ground Zero workers, being hailed as a hero felt like fraud. "A hero is the guy who emerges from a burning building with a baby in his arms," they told me. None of them had, despite their attempts, rescued anyone.
September 11th prompted something else in the American psyche that reflected the heart of our nation -- our instinct to care for one another and to serve community and country.