I went into New York City this week to visit a friend I had not seen in a long time. I decided to walk from the bus terminal up to her apartment, close to a mile and 1/2. I know my way around NYC having worked there for close to 30 years, there is a feeling of comfort revisiting so many of the streets I walked many years ago to get to work. It was a warm day so I walked along at a slower pace, taking in everything around me just like a tourist.
I was walking up 8th Avenue and passed a fire station between 47th & 48th streets. The Fire engines were right there and the windshield of one caught my eye
I stopped to take a few photos and suddenly felt someone behind me taking my phone out of my hands. One of the firefighters said “go stand by the other truck I’ll take your photo.” I started to laugh and asked if he was for real, and with that another firefighter stepped over and said, “I’ll get in the photo with you.”What great guys- I thanked them, smiling from ear to ear, not just for the photo but for the work they do for the city every day.
When I got home I googled the station only to find “The Pride of Manhattan” Engine 54, Ladder 4, Battalion 9 Firehouse lost 15 firefighters on 9/11 — an entire shift and more than any other New York Firehouse. The 15 men killed had 28 children between them. It is the busiest firehouse in NYC answering 14,000 calls a year, and also the most visited firehouse in NYC. I was glad I stopped, to meet these 2 brave men who risk their lives in the job they do, but also to learn something new about this firehouse I had probably passed many times before. My weekly smile.