September 11, 2001 began like any other day for New York City firefighter John Norman. But when an urgent "all call" message shook his home answering machine, he raced into a day he would never forget … the day terror stuck the twin towers at the World Trade Center. Norman led the rescue and recovery efforts at Ground Zero after the buildings' collapse claimed the lives of most of the senior leadership above him. Struggling to control his personal grief to assume responsibility for the operation, Norman served his fellow citizens with honor.
Today we salute all of our selfless first responders who rushed into harm's way twelve years, ago along with the brave men and women in uniform who have been fighting to defend our home security every since. May we never forget the lives lost that dark September morning and may we never forget the cost of freedom.