For 25 years, I have had the privilege of representing public safety officers throughout this nation. In that time, I have come to know and work with thousands of police officers, firefighters, and emergency service workers.
Throughout these years, I have had the unfortunate task of counseling the survivors of fallen police officers and firefighters. The unspeakable violence of September 11th exacted a toll on these heroes that silenced even the most hardened cynics.
As our nation struggles to fulfill its constitutional obligation to “maintain the domestic tranquility” in the face of an organized terrorist onslaught, there are many innocent lives that, tragically, may yet be lost in the line of duty. Invariably, they will be those who answer the call without hesitation, and give all they can for duty and country.
Among the many stories from those who escaped the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, there was a universal theme. As the workers streamed out of harm’s way, public safety officers rushed in. The sheer numbers of their losses reflected a singular disregard for the danger to themselves in fulfilling their mission to save lives.
As our nation steels itself for crises yet to come, it is incumbent on all of us to never forget the sacrifices made by public safety officers, not just on that terrible day, but every day. We must also remember the obligation to comfort and support the families left to grieve for their fallen loved ones.
Our prayers and our gratitude continually go out to all those who serve and protect, and the families who suffer most in their loss.
Robert D. Klausner