Thursday, May 5, 2011
President Barack Obama...lunches with 911 Firefighters! 1st responders wowed!
A short while ago, President Barack Obama's motorcade cruised up to a humble Fire Hall in downtown Manhattan, where a rag-tag band of firefighters anxiously waited to meet-and-greet the one of the leaders of the free world, who was expected to break bread and issue up heartfelt thanks for their heroic efforts during the 911 crisis.
The President did not disappoint!
Shortly after Barack Obama strode into the facility in the heart of the downtown theatre district, nervous firefighters suddenly found themselves face-to-face with the Commander-in-Chief and totally at ease.
"He was so down-to-earth. Like one of the guys," one firefighter excitedly gushed to one reporter.
"There was a bit of talk about the yanks, the white sox, and the cubs," the current Fire Chief confided to another newsie there to capture the event on film for posterity's sake.
"He talked a little about what things were like in the strategy room on the weekend and that it was a tense moment for everyone," he confided, at one point.
But, the Chief was reluctant to reveal a few of the personal comments the President uttered up casually and sincerely to his attentive crew during the course of his timely visit.
"I think the comments were made in confidence," he noted for the record.
The President was happy that everything "worked out:", apparently, according to the Official.
"He was so cool. Just like one of the guys sitting around the firehouse," another firefighter beamed from ear-to-ear.
In sum, the general consensus was that the Government - and two Presidents (Obama and Bush both) had fulfilled their promise.
After checking out Fire Engine 54, and acknowledging a plaque honoring felled firefighters, the President strolled into the lunchroom for a private breaking-of-bread with his hosts.
The press were forced to chomp at-the-bit outside the inner sanctum as they stood around begging for scraps of news!
"He took off his jacket. Sat back in his chair. And, was totally at ease," according to all who were present.
"The President loved the shrimp and the eggplant Parmesan," the chef fessed up when quizzed about the meal he prepared in anticipation of the President's informal visit.
Everyone's thoughts, however, were not far from the purpose of the visit.
Almost a decade ago, the Twin Towers were destroyed at the hands of terrorists, bent on destroying the very fabric of the American way of life.
At that time, President Bush - and other City and Government Officials - made a vow to apprehend the perpetrators of the heinous crime and bring them to justice.
In the wake of the news of the death of Osama bin Laden in recent days, it appeared that the time was ripe to acknowledge that the promise had been fulfilled.
It was also time for the President to give the heroes their due and pay his respects.
The fire hall is a symbol of the sacrifices that were made, after all.
For that reason, the President was inclined to praise the firefighters today personally with as little pomp and circumstance (and unnecessary fanfare) as humanly possible under the circumstances.
"The reason I came here is because you men run into burning houses to save citizens every day," the President solemnly noted in so many words.
According to the President, there was no political component to his appearance.
The Firefighters Association appeared to agree with that statement in view of the fact their organization just released a statement a few minutes ago commending the President for bringing closure (a word many have tried to avoid due to potential cliches rising up in the minds of the people) to the ongoing 911 saga that has dragged on wearily over the past nine and-a-half-years or so.
One of the firefighters said it in a nutshell.
"We wanted to tell the President we thank him what he did on Sunday. And, that we are with the troops and what they did. And, thank them. We are behind them all the way."