Patriot Day 2007

Six years ago, the US had a horrible wake-up call as the WTC towers and the Pentagon were hit by planes and a fourth plane crashed in Pennsylvania. FDNY firefighters I had met briefly died that day. Others are now at very much increased risk of lung disease, cancer and other ailments due to prolonged exposure to a melange of carcinogens and toxins in the smoke and debris.

One of my favorite tributes to 9/11 can be found here: Clicky.
Yes, I know that it's a beer commercial. Bite me. I don't care. It's still good.

Two years ago, I rolled into the fire camp in Algiers to start a week of rescue work in New Orleans. We pulled in as the 9/11 memorial service, led by Pres. Bush started. Despite the losses they suffered in 2001, the largest single contingent of firefighters sent to New Orleans in response to Katrina and Rita was from FDNY. (With that said, they're also just about the largest FD in the country.) Because of the tremendous response that FDNY received after 9/11/01, they felt the need to pay some of that back by contributing time and equipment to New Orleans in its time of need. They brought a lot of attitude with them, but they also did a lot of work and gave several fire trucks to the city of New Orleans to replace apparatus that was destroyed.

On a lighter note, during that week in New Orleans, I taught a Baltimore SWAT officer how to knit and he knit a round on the sock I was working on at the time. He was roughly the size of a small car (and all muscle) and had a personality as big as the Pacific. He giggled the whole time and talked his way through it. "Teaching" him involved showing him two or three stitches, talking him through a couple as he did them and then letting him go. When he finished the round, he announced it to everybody in the area (about 30 law enforcement officers) and took a bow. I don't know his name, but I aspire to have that much fun doing anything.

More Foot Tapping

Another group of women at work is all up at arms about tapping one's feet in a public restroom. Now they're all worried that if they themselves tap their feet that someone will think they're gay or (*gasp!*) a gay man will hit upon them. (I refrained from asking 1) what a gay man would be doing in the women's restroom and 2) why on earth a gay man would hit on a woman.) There's no pointing out to them that the foot tapping in question doesn't occur in their own stall, but under the partition into the next stall so that it's a bit hard to misconstrue. It appears that they need(ed) a position of moral superiority from which to look down upon others and from which to pass judgment. Once again, though they were curious how gay men know where to go and how to communicate with each other, they ALL knew where in town the gay men go to troll for sex. (I refrained from pointing out that if straight women know how/where gay men in town communicate their intentions to each other, that the gay men might also have it figured out.)

What's sad about all of this is that there is an HIV clinic in our building 3 days a week. As you might expect, there are a number of homosexual male clients. The comments made about the patients while the staff are at lunch are revolting. (You'd think the clients chose to be gay just to disgust the clinic nurses.) Here's a thought: if you hate the people for whom you work, you really need to find another job. Surely the staff couldn't have been so naive when they signed up to work in the HIV clinic to not realize that there might be gay men coming to the clinic for treatment. And drug addicts. And prostitutes. And folks who have made poor or regrettable choices. Perhaps they decided to work at the clinic so they could feel superior to everybody. I only hope they don't have a "holier than thou" attitude while working with the patients.

Have I mentioned that intolerant and small-minded people drive me nuts? I don't mind that folks have their own opinions about things. In fact, I'd rather that everybody formed their own opinions through critical thinking, rather than just parroting someone else's opinion/thoughts. What I mind about opinions is having someone else's foisted on me as the one true way. You're welcome to your opinion, whether I agree with it or not. I get to have my own opinion too, even if you don't agree with it. Doesn't make it invalid or wrong. Different does not equal wrong or inferior.


Twitchh said…
Very nice, Dot.

The tribute clip gave me goosebumps and made me just a little leaky, beer commercial or not. (Those dang Clydesdales, don'tcha know..... :-) )

Thanks for the post!


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