This post is part of “The 2,996 Project: A Tribute to the Victims of 9/11” -- a tribute by the blogosphere to each victim of 9/11, organized by D.C. Roe, with each tribute created by a different blogger.
Ronald T. Kerwin, from
In the next picture he looks a little different -- more serious, more formal, ready to do a difficult job:
Ronald T. Kerwin was a member of Squad 288 of the New York Fire Department -- a 20-year veteran. He had also been Chief of the Levittown Volunteer Fire Department.
He was not at the
Here is what Scott Jenkins, a member of the Levittown Fire Department, wrote shortly after Ronald’s death. It is entitled “To My Chief:”
As most of us stopped, to see the fire in the sky, you were in the trucks, passing us by. As the unthinkable horror makes us shed a tear, you entered the building, in your rescue gear. As we sat in panic, praying for no more, you were climbing the stairs, floor by floor.
We sat confused, awed, and in strife; you were looking, hoping and praying for life. As the building came down, we feared you would too. But God gave you wings, and instead you flew by.
We laid you to rest yesterday. The book is now closed. You are in a better place, where us fire fighters call the ultimate sacrifice, and the gates are gold. Say hello to our brothers, our fallen friends. We all miss you and love you, and we will meet again. You have answered your final alarm. God Bless You and keep you by His side.
It seems wrong to call those who died on 9/11 “victims.” Many, like Ronald Kerwin, were heroes, exhibiting courage and commitment we can barely comprehend. All were fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, husbands, wives, friends -- each an entire world -- working hard that day to support themselves and others.
May their memory be a blessing to their families, and may we who did not know them -- but who do now -- recognize we owe them more than mere remembrance. We owe them the honor of translating their examples into our own lives, and the commitment to confront the evil, still unleashed in the world, that took their lives.