by Steve on September 11, 2011

This will always be a tough day for myself and most Americans. I was torn and undecided as I tried to put appropriate thoughts down on the page as the 11th approached. An email from a friend changed this post entirely (thanks Kim). I deleted everything I had already worked up in favor of this:

Image by Charlotte Dumas

Moxie is now 13 and a retired Search and Rescue (SAR) dog, she was 3 when she arrived at ground zero with her handler on September 12, 2001 to search for survivors. Over 100 canine SAR teams worked ground zero and the Pentagon for days on end searching. Most of the dogs were 2 or 3 years old at the time – only 12 are still with us. There were 15 when Dutch photographer Charlotte Dumas shot the portraits for her book Retrieved honoring the K9 teams that worked the 9/11 sites and those that still remain are senior citizens.

Their eyes speak to you and if you’ve ever been around working dogs of any kind you know that despite the gray noses, old joints, and worn bodies, those eyes are telling you they’re ready to go one more time. Their handlers and trainers are special people who donate their time, money, and effort because they are needed. It’s what they do.

It’s a day to remember not only who we lost but what we lost as a nation. Remember how we call came together and set aside our differences. Give thanks for all those that stand watch in our stead ready to take on the enemy, run into the flames, give emergency assistance, and search for lives in need of saving.

Semper Vigilantes


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