Friday, September 11, 2009

Givin' Props To The Firefighters on 9/11

The Militant will keep this post short on words.

Many people have their various feelings and opinions on September 11, 2001, from the jingoistic, to the mournful, to the shameful, to the conspiratorial. Everyone has a right to their own feelings.

Today, the Militant visited Los Angeles' World Trade Center Memorial at the Los Angeles Fire Department's Frank Hotchkin Memorial Training Center, just outside of Dodgertown in Elysian Park. The memorial includes an actual piece of the South Tower's second-floor steel column, which was damaged, yet still standing after the tower's collapse.

On the rear of the monument, pieces of the concrete floor can still be seen at the top edge (pictured below).
A plaque at the base of the memorial (pictured below) dedicates the structure to the FDNY firefighters who perished in the line of duty eight years ago today,
The facility itself has a similarly-themed story. It is located on what was formerly the Naval and Marine Corps Reserve Center. Nearly 29 years ago this month, a fire broke out in the main building and Frank Hotchkin, an LAFD firefighter, was killed while fighting the blaze, which was blamed on an electrical problem. In 1995, the military sold the facility to the LAFD, which turned it into a training center and, most appropriately, dedicated it memory of Hotchkin.

A ceremony today, dedicated to the 9/11 firefighters, as well as the first responders of last year's Metrolink disaster took place at the facility today.

A banner in memory of LACFD's Ted Hall and Arnie Quinones was put up just outside the Sunset gate of Dodger Stadium, where the public memorial for both firefighters will be held Saturday morning:
One of the Militant's operatives applied for a job at the LAFD, though he's yet to land the position, the Militant learned that it's not just a job where you just get up and commute to/from the office. You live your job. Your commute is a 3-story slide down a pole. Your office is your firefighter's suit. Whether you're responding to a false alarm or battling a hellish wildfire, the Militant gives massive props to firefighters everywhere.


Dedalus1947 said...

The 9/11 structures you pictured reminded me of stone representations of the Toltec god, Tlaloc; the rain god of Mexican myth. Ironic that rain should come to mind amidst fire and destruction. But water is one of the prime elements, isn't it.

Firemen (I mean, firefighters) are truly a breed apart.

How do they do it. My cousin Raul (Tootis) Angulo is a Captain of Ladder Truck Number 6 in Seattle, Washington. He was born and raised in Lincoln Heights, and attended Cathedral High School. He and I could not be more politically divided. He's a Bush-man and I'm an Obama-man, but I love and respect him.

I can not fathom how he does what he does. He is a hero. He sees his duty and commits himself to save lives. I love him, and he is my family.

I wish everyone could see family in nation.

Militant Angeleno said...

Dedalus1947: Thanks for the personal perspective! The Militant appreciates it! Very honest, very real (and they keep saying us Angelenos are all fake...)!

philpalm said...

There is a firefighting position that is easier to get. That of a hotshot crew for the brush fires.

They give you training, they have a test for your fitness and you wait for the next fire.

I was with the Los Padres group based at UCSB. It was firefighters because two women were from the rowing crew team. I was at a fire in San Dimas, another nr. San Diego and one in Ventura County for the one fire season I joined in 1970's.