Thursday, September 10, 2009

Eight Years

Keeping all those personally effected by the attacks of 9/11/2001 in my thoughts and prayers during this time of remembrance. May you continue to heal and bring blessings to those around you. In that way we defeat the purpose of those who would do us harm. Love and blessings.


Monday, July 6, 2009

Clarification of Recognition of 9/11's Fallen Heroes at the National September Eleventh Memorial and Museum

In some of the developements for the National September Eleventh Museum and Memorial being built near Ground Zero, concerns arose that the fallen members would not be properly recognized, their department and rank not recognized. A little more than a year ago I personally met a representative of the committee for this Memorial. What I learned is there are so many details being addressed to make it a fitting memorial for all and a learning experience for future generations. With the recent concerns raise, The National September Eleventh Museum and Memorial has issued this clarification. I received permission to post it here. I believe this is a fitting response and shows they will properly recognize each member of each agency and their rank will be known and their company or precinct also recognized. Further contact information is included. Please read.

Dear FDNY families and friends,

I am writing at the request of members of the FDNY who have asked for clarification on how the names will be arranged at the National September 11 Memorial. While I would hope this would go without saying, I want to personally express that honoring the memory of the FDNY and other first responders at the Memorial and preserving the history of their rescue and response efforts within the Museum are core to our mission.

The purpose of this letter is to express clearly how First Responders are being recognized on the Memorial and what steps have been taken in light of the valid concerns of members of the first responder community. I am fully aware that the decision not to include ranks of first responders continues to be an issue for many families of first responders and those that either have served or actively serve today. At that same time, it would be a disservice not to reiterate what is being done in light of these concerns.

It's important to note that prior to the final December 2006 decision, the names on the 9/11 Memorial were going to be listed randomly - in no discernable order, with no headings or delineations. The final arrangement (arrived at in Dec. 2006) reflects a compromise that strikes a balance between the initial Memorial design that won the Memorial competition and the opinions voiced by family members of first responders.

The steps that have been taken are to:

· List the names of all first responders together following an inscribed "FIRST RESPONDERS" heading

· List the names of all members of a particular first responder agency together following inscribed agency headings - e.g., "FDNY" will be on the Memorial

· List the names of all members of specific units together following specific inscribed unit headings - e.g., "LADDER 10" will be on the Memorial, and all of its members listed together

In recognition of the heroism first responders displayed, knowingly going into harm's way to help save so many people on 9/11, a dedicated section of the Memorial will list their names together under these headings. In addition, the units will be arranged in such a way that will allow the names FDNY victims who were related or shared close friendships with colleagues to be listed side by side.

As mentioned, I am aware that this final decision on the names arrangement does not satisfy everyone, and that some continue to believe the arrangement should be handled in other ways, whether that be alphabetically instead of by agency and units, or to add victims' ranks and titles to the inscriptions. As reflected by the many different treatments employed at other memorials across the country, there is no right answer to the difficult question of how to do this. Interestingly, the largest national memorial that lists individuals in the United States is the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in D.C.; that memorial does not include ranks of the soldiers who fought and died in that war. Many memorials to fire fighters do not list ranks, including the IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial in Colorado Springs and the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland. The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. also does not list ranks. I will say anecdotally that the concern most often voiced about the original names arrangement was that first responders should be listed together, within their agencies and units, and as I hope everyone now understands the final decision on the arrangement rightly and appropriately addresses that.

I also want to express again that the story of each and every member of the FDNY who perished on 9/11 will be a crucial and integral part of the Museum, including within a special Memorial exhibition that will individually honor their lives through photographs, audio recordings, and personal mementoes. Information about each of the victims will include rank, age, employer, and any other information provided to us by family members or friends. You can find more information about the Memorial Exhibition and how to participate in its creation on our website at

Please feel free to contact the Memorial staff with any questions
1-877-671-1636 or - we will respond with answers to your questions.

Warm regards,


Joseph Daniels
National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center

Thursday, June 18, 2009

National Fire Fighter Archive

I met Laura Yanes at the Firehouse World Expo. She has established the National Fire Fighter Archive photographing fire fighters so they have this memory for their families. It started with one photograph of one fire fighter in New York just prior to 9/11 when she was just taking a class in photography and was learning how to use her camera. Now she has photographed thousands of the FDNY and many many others. I urge you to go to her site and check out her work and support her. Regards.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


I attended the Fresno Fire Chief Foundation - Epicurian Delights Fundraiser yesterday. I was able to sell some books for the cause. I'm quite happy about that. A couple connections made let me know I'm still on the right path with this book. A fire fighter originally from Dallas spoke with me for quite a while. He helped me man my table and encouraged me to get some refreshments. He touched me though. He told me he would not be able to read my book. He told me he couldn't look at photos, etc. That means he is one that has seen too much. Guys like him I won't forget and will keep them all in my prayers always.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Heroes of Every Kind

The other day I was in a Toastmaster's meeting. A lady gave a speech on how 9/11 changed her life. She spent years in the airline industry. When 9/11 hit, she was a flight attendant for a company that few private/corporate jets. She often met notable people. When 9/11 hit, she was called upon to do tasks she never thought she would. Places she was flown accompanying FEMA, CIA and FBI personnel. The flight attendants and even the pilot was not allowed to know where they were going at times. They would only be given coordinates. Just fly these people here. She said they were trained to deal with terrorists and the policies for dealing with terrorists had been around so long the terrorists knew them well. They knew how flight attendents would react in certain situations. She said they new about Bin Laden. They had been tracking him for five years. And right after 9/11, suddenly flight attendants were calling in sick. No wonder right? Any way as she described the things she went through those early days after the attacks, it became clear that all her expert training had kicked in. In Toastmasters we are asked to always write comments for speakers. For her I wrote, my belief is God knew who He place in what positions to help guide, keep calm and assist in certain processes. Her training and God given abilities kicked in. Just like Captain Sully's did as he landed the plane in the Hudson.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Well I haven't written anything in a while. I'm not used to keeping up blogs. I attended the Firehouse World Expo in San Diego in February. It was low attendance. The basic thing was meeting people though. I met two FDNY members there. One had just been honored as Rescuer of the Year. He was overwhelmed by my display, my posters and memorial memorabilia I had with me. I gave him and his friend the last two hero medals I had. I also met John White. Founder of Fire Fighters For Christ. It was such a pleasure to meet him! I believe I made a few other good connections.

I recently had one speaking engagement - a woman's church group. The same week I had several visitors. I had the opportunity to host a couple Ireland fire fighters - members of Fire Fighters For Christ - at Pelco and give them a tour of the memorial and museum. The weekend following, I had visitors from New York. A gentleman who is FDNY retired and his wife. Local fire fighters helped me honor them. Learning their story more deeply really tugged at the heart strings. The Brownie Lady also came and helped make the time so special. Then she and I hit up some of the local fire houses and did what she does best. Showing love and appreciation to our local bravest.

And that is what I have been up to. May you all stay safe and may God richly bless you.

Time to get back to work promoting.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Firehouse World Expo - San Diego - Feb 17-19

Just letting everyone know I'm preparing to exhibit at the Firehouse World Expo in San Diego in a few weeks. I'm excited about it and hoping this will open up some doors and lead me to some great contacts.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Who is a Hero

As those who are in the Fresno/Clovis area have seen, there have been many changes at Pelco. Today I gave what will probably be my last "kiddie tour". It was kindergarten and first graders. They are shown only the museum, memorial and security office. Today one of the little girls was accompanied by her father. When we were in the museum and the video started, he moved to the hallway out of site of the video. I saw him looking at displays. I walked over to him and he started talking to me. He is in the military. He did not tell me what branch but said his job is to load explosives. He told me the video was very hard for him to watch. He has done 9 tours! "People have forgotten" He told me. "People have forgotten what happened. After 9/11 there was a unity we don't see now." As the tour continued, I stole moments away to find a way to honor him, to look for one of the hero medals Pelco gave to the fire and police from New York. I was successful in finding one. When I tried to give it to this most deserving and obviously weary service member, he refused. "I was just doing my job. I'm no hero. (I have heard this so many times from those that are the only ones this title could apply to). I have just done my part. I'm not one of the fire fighters."My partner with the tour has been also deeply involved with our memorial. Between he and I , we were able to convince him to accept this small token. He thanked me that there is someone that understands and remembers. I've not been the same since I met him. Pray for him and the rest of our service members for all they have seen and faced and need to process. And pray for their continued efforts. I also pray for all fire, police and EMS workers. You do so much.