Home>Topics>>FDIC 2011 Opening Ceremony: Bobby Halton Welcome Speech

FDIC 2011 Opening Ceremony: Bobby Halton Welcome Speech

Wed, 23 Mar 2011|

Bobby Halton, Education Director, FDIC and Editor, Fire Engineering reminds us why we should never forget.


Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Please welcome the education director for FDIC -- editor in chief of fire engineering. Bobby hall. Good morning. Welcome to the 83 FDIC. Who once again have been humbled by our wonderful friends who so graciously shared their time and talent this here this morning. We've been blessed -- -- display of honor by inspiring music and a beautiful prayer. Thank you to everyone -- the show on the ground plus -- This FDIC brings us some very sad news. For those -- you may not have heard. Indianapolis battalion chiefs Steve -- Passed away on February the first. Steve was -- for gold FDIC. For the last fourteen years. He -- -- dearly and he gave his full attention. Here in in your house. -- -- love -- with the deepest respect. We'd like to dedicate this 83 FDIC. To our friend Steve walk. Joining with us today from moment of silence. -- these inseparable friend Bill Brown. And it's these beloved wife Donald. Now please join us in a moment of silence. On the priest. Thank you don't think you felt. I'd also like to acknowledge and introduced you some very special guests dignitaries. These men -- from the nation of India. They represent the leadership of the -- fire service and this year they're bringing the spirit of FDIC. To India. To our very first fire engineering conference in Delhi India. And expect to see all of you there. Jonathan please stand and can rip rock FDIC. You know and and -- broken promises and shattered trust. Where everyone promises usual world. And delivers nothing. You firefighters do exactly the opposite. I'd like to reflect to this morning about a promise. You and I made. A promise that we intend to keep. We will never. For get. In in cities across our countries -- statues monuments. That inspire us to higher principles but at the same time -- cause us to reflect. Think back from moment if you would for me. And try to remember. How you felt the very first time that you saw that statue of liberty. With her crown -- seven raise with the shackles of tyranny oppression crushed beneath their feet with that glorious torch lighting the way for millions of immigrants and millions more Americans back home. Think for a moment and try to remember how you felt the very first time that you saw that Washington monument. The only freestanding pure stone obelisk in the world. As unique in its designers was the man. It stands -- tall and unassailable as was his character. And it's engraved throughout with biblical verse which was a tribute to Washington's about -- -- life of piety. And -- on faltering belief in divine Providence. Think back for a moment and try to remember how you felt the first time that you saw the Lincoln Memorial. Lincoln sitting stoically intensively upon a great -- A man who -- great burdens with tremendous character who endured tremendous setbacks without complaint. Whose perseverance maintain this great union -- a lesser -- insecurity would have caused him to commit capitulate -- to compromise. Those glorious monuments remind us that this nation has always stood for that which is good. And the fire service has always stood for that which is good. Lincoln called it the better angels of our nature. Having monuments and statues to help us remembers very important. Four within these monuments we see the values and principles that sustain those who were involved in those heroic struggles. Values and principles that you live every day nothing is more important to you the new principles. Nothing's more important to you than your values. Nothing's more important to you -- your character. But as we go about our daily lives it's kind of easy to understand what some people think that those sacred values and those principles are lost. That we have no modern examples of goodness. But they're wrong. All around us are heroes. Men and women who are willing to struggle against the people. Whether that evil comes from the barrel of a gun. Or those devastating. Power of fire and its toxic gases. When we listen to what's being celebrated recognize there are immediate today though it is kinda hard to find those truly inspiring stories of great heroes. But one such story involves -- 93 year old gentleman who recently passed away in an assisted living center -- the Pennsylvania. But back on June 6 1944. 101 airborne. Fought all the way through the battle of the bulge. Liberation -- -- and onto Hitler's eagle's nests. We returned only -- a real quiet life. Didn't talk much about the war. Until this writer named Ambrose. Made him famous in the book the band of Brothers. He was by all accounts the biggest rather. Now colonel Dick winters never claimed to be a hero as a matter of fact when people asked if he was a hero he would say no. But I served in a company of heroes. Sadly when this American hero died we heard little about his life in the media. -- -- we are doing here today. Matters. Re dedicating ourselves to -- -- his matters to -- Why we are here today. Matters to you -- and what we say here today matters do you currently. If we're to be true the better angels of our nature. If we're to be better people better firefighters. If we hope to inspire future generations to do great things to do extraordinary things. Then we must continue to build monuments that recognize. And memorial lies things that are noble. That reflect on what's noble and our world today. We must be true to our promise to never -- get. Currently at ground zero. Construction is underway. Building the freedom towers. A memorial to all of those who died on that tragic and mournful day ten years ago. It's fitting and proper that the system. But in a greater sense. No one knows that there were two groups of people who died that -- better than you. No one knows. What a great -- the fire service suffered that day. Better than you. And no one knows. The importance of a separate and distinct monument which is needed for the responders of 9/11 better than you. A completely separate and unique monument properly to represent the lives of those responders who were not taken. But who willingly risked their lives to try to protect their fellow man. A distinct monument is needed which will reflect that valiant struggle. By those men of higher character. A monument that will foot ever remind us of their unblemished honor and for ever inspire us to be true to the better angels of our nature it is fitting and it is necessary. That we do -- -- if we fail to recognize why they were there if we fail to recognize. How they died that day then we cannot complain. When our society continues to celebrate that was for presents are lesser angels. If we ignore the examples of higher character are evil winds. Firefighters -- by a common set of -- values that we hold here. And we express them through our actions our honor and our sacrifice. And there was no greater willingness -- example of that sacrifice than that which was shown on 9/11. This year. As we take time to remember the incredible bravery. -- unparalleled display of higher character by the heroes of 9/11. We will take stock in ourselves. And reflect on how well we have appreciated. The example that they left for us at such a deal price. -- Thomas the bravery. Comes not from a sense of vulnerability and lack of fear. But just the opposite. We know that each one of them recognize the terrible danger involved in fighting a fire so well developed. And so high above the ground. They drew their strength and quiet their fears. Because they -- They were serving companies appearance. But those 343. Heroes would deny being heroes just as colonel Dick winters there. He said that he didn't do anything special. That he was just doing his job. That any of his Brothers in the unit would have done the same thing. So while the latest teen idol -- fallen movie star is being recognized -- celebrated by those who control our media. The real heroes stories are going ignored. But those of us who swore allegiance to our communities. Those of us has pledged to protect our neighbors. Those of us has promised to never foreign debt. Can not ignore what -- winters in the 343. Heroes of nine elevenths so valiantly sacrifice to teach us. The firefighting as a war depends not on -- -- went on bonding. On character. On the job done and hang in itself. The heroes of 9/11 on the tragic -- looked evil in the eye and said it stops with me. They didn't know about the horrible conspiracy of men. Who perpetuated that day but they recognize the -- that that fire represented to those -- so high above that building. They met the fire that -- with the courage that came from compassion with the bravery they came from those unbreakable bonds of true camaraderie. They met the fire that day with an unrelenting need to get the job done that came from an unconditional love of their fellow man and an undefeated -- strength. That came from lifetimes. Hang in tough. They met the fire that day. With the belief in the angels of their better nature. And nature and the character that always placed honor. Above everything else. Like colonel winters. They would have said that they did what any other fire fighter would have done that day given the same circumstances. They would say that they were not heroes. That they were not brave. But we know that that is not true. They were heroes -- and all serving shoulder to shoulder and companies appearance. So let us this year visit the memorials that we have. Nothing is more important. But let us dedicate ourselves a new to a new 9/11 -- On his monument. You deserve a monument solely in the memory of those men of noble character. 343. Who are gone but they are not forgotten and whose memories will inspire greatness in generations yet unborn. I want you to imagine for a moment a monument that fills America. With a great promise just as our lady in the harbor does I want you imagine a monument. Emblazoned with unassailable integrity and unblemished on her. Just as the lies of George Washington -- -- Jack fanning anti Fredericks peek and see Tommy Kelly and the other 338. Heroes of 9/11. I want you imagine for a moment a monument. Double inspire everyone to persevere. Despite the odds and never give -- despite the pressure. So never despair despite the suffering just as Lincoln's beautiful memorial -- our hearts to defend freedom for all. To defend this beautiful nation. I want you to measure for a moment a monument. Dedicated. Devoted. Most importantly deserving. Of representing the sacrifices in the memory of those we lost a couple of you see those hero firefighters had a choice to make that day. And they decided to stay in that field. And -- chiefs had a choice to make that today. And they decided to stay with their men. And the simple truth is. We get to make a choice. Whether our communities are filled nondescript buildings filled with -- for art's sake. Filled with monuments. Dedicated to -- inspiring future generations. You decide. If you want to have a nation whose values reflect those of -- winters and the 343. Heroes of 9/11. But the values of selflessness and -- The heroes of 9/11 deserve to have their stories tall. They deserve the praise the recognition. And the admiration -- -- -- today but not only today. Imagine if every day we could hear their stories and our children could hear their stories and our grandchildren. Could hear their stories. You decide. These -- we honor here this morning represented the best society -- -- -- They represent the angels of our better nature. And represent the greatest hope for our nation. They represent the best and and kind. If -- allow me from moment. To speak on behalf of all of us. This morning we promise -- here today that we will never forget. We -- that their sacrifices were not in vain. That their memories will live on -- us. And that the example of honor that they said. Will be the standard by which we. Are to be judged. Thank god forever bless them and -- continue to bless you in the days ahead. Thank you.

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