I get obsessed with the September 11 terror attacks every year. I watch, like, eight hours of all those shows that come on showing the same footage over and over. Yet it's like seeing it for the very first time. I believe every Tri-Cities resident should visit the Sept. 11 memorial at the Southridge Sports & Events Complex next Thursday. Here's why:

I'm impacted by 9/11 more than the average American because I was a fire fighter at the time. When news broke that morning our whole crew was on the phone trying to figure out a way to get to NYC to help. It's just how fire fighters are.

See, that's why we shouldn't just "move on" from 9/11. I'm glad people can move past the horror, tragedy and pain. But the fallen emergency responders at Ground Zero deserve your respect each year.

As my crew was glued to the TV news 13 years ago we noticed something the average viewer did not: hundreds of PAS devices going off.

Every fire fighter's suit has a self-contained breathing apparatus to help us when we're engulfed by smoke. That device includes what's called a PAS that sounds an alarm when the wearer hasn't moved in a while. It alerts their team the person has gone unconscious and needs to be rescued. When you hear a PAS go off you're trained to jump to the rescue of your fallen colleague. 

Watching the news broadcasts from Ground Zero, we could hear literally hundreds of those going off. I just can't imagine what it was like for their colleagues on the sidelines.

More than 400 professionals trained to run into danger to save people gave their lives doing just that on September 11, 2001. They deserve to be remembered this Thursday. 

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