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A U.S. flag recovered from the 9/11 attacks is displayed by New York City Police officers and firefighters during the ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of the terrorists attack in 2011.

Kyle Kunz, Sports Editor 

At 8:46 am E.T. on September 11, 2001 American Airlines Flight 11 struck the north tower of the World Trade Center. 17 minutes later at 9:03 a second plane hits the south tower. Smoke and flames are seen streaming out of the cracked and broken windows. People are seen streaming out of and away from the World Trade Center. In fact people were trying to get away from it so fast that people were seen jumping from the windows. Everyone is running for safety. Everyone that is, but the brave first responders of New York City. In the one hundred and two minutes between the first plane striking and the two towers collapsing those brave souls were risking their own lives to get civilians out of the buildings. 

In this Nations most chaotic and horrifying moment those brave men and women, those heroes went to work doing the only thing they could do; protecting the citizens of New York City. With the nation reeling from this attack on our own soil and before we had any clue who did it they jumped into action.   

In the days that followed rescue operations were running 24 hours a day with volunteer first responders coming from all over the country. These Police Officers, Fire Fighters, Paramedics, Coast Guard and others risked their lives.  

A medical director of the World Trade Center Health Program at Mount Sinai Hospital reported that approximately 10,000 of those brave men and women have developed cancer as a result of the toxins they were exposed to during the recovery operations. The Uniformed Firefighters Association of Greater New York reported that over 170 firefighters have died to do 9/11 related illnesses.  

I think it is important in tumultuous times such as these that we take a moment and remember these true heroes. We as a nation suffer from the bad habit of recency bias, we are very much a “what have you done for me lately” people.  

Remembering those brave men and women in no way minimizes the atrocities that have been happening around the country. These organizations are made of humans too, none of us are infallible and neither are they. These agencies can be both can’t they? They can be the people we turn to in our time of absolute need, but they can also be people who abuse their power and use excessive force; the two are not mutually exclusive.  

It is up to you to be able to separate those two contradictions.