At this man’s funeral in 2001 I made many promises. I promised I would take his picture and his name all over the world so people would remember him forever. I put his picture in my locker, in my binders, on my wall at home, I carried it everywhere. He is the main reason I joined the Navy and wanted to make a difference. When others were running to safety he was running up stairs to save as many people as he could. When those Towers fell he never made it out. I’ve even posted this on the mess decks on my old ship to remind myself why I put on that uniform every day. Many didn’t understand why this photo meant so much to me, but this is more than just a photo. It’s been a part of my soul for 12 years now. I made a promise to this man that I would be great and that I would do my part to change the world.
It’s 4 AM right now in Hawaii and I type this with tears in my eyes because I look back and I still feel the pain from that day. I still remember running home with my Father and trying to figure out how were were gonna get into Manhattan to get my Mother who works near the Towers. I still remember the fear and anger I felt. I can’t ever forget it. Many years have passed and it still feels the same. But here we are, over a decade later and I can say that I’ve kept my promises. This picture has been all over the world, it has been viewed by thousands of people. The USS Harry S. Truman recently honored this man and sent me a flag to give to his Father. That moment showed me that I did it. I made it happen, my dream came true.
So today I just ask you to look at this picture and not only see a Hero but understand his journey. Appreciate the sacrifice he made along with his comrades and all the people lost on that terrible day in September. I was 15 years old when I attended his funeral and made those promises. I’m 27 now and living proof that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. We can change the world, we can be better people. Never Forget 9/11.
Rest In Paradise Keith Alexander Glascoe, Firefighter From Ladder 21, FDNY.
God Bless You All.