A beautiful blog by Teri Modisette
Eleven years ago today, the Twin Towers slipped from the sky and plummeted to earth as America watched in shock. As that once beautiful Autumn day wore on to evening, news outlets reported many people still trapped, slowing dying in the avalanche of metal. How did they know? Those people used cell phones to call their families from beneath the remains of the World Trade Center. One by one, they said final goodbyes as the last of their cell phone batteries blinked out.
No one yet knew the death toll would reach nearly 3,000. All the rescue teams could do was send help. That night as pictures and “Please help me find my son” and “Please help me find my daughter” flyers went up around NYC, help arrived at Ground Zero on four legs.
Several sets of four legs, to be exact.
Emergency workers had flooded the area with light, enabling them to pair with public volunteers in a desperate search for the living, but they needed help from something with better hearing and a better sense of smell than the average human being. They were helped by Moxie and Tara from Massachusetts, Guinness from California, Kaiser from Indianapolis, Bretagne from Texas, Red from Maryland, Hoke from Denver. It was a long shot to call in search and rescue dogs. As good as the dogs were, 9/11 was undeniably a large-scale tragedy.
Search-and-rescue dogs are trained to pick up certain scents on the ground and in the air. Well-trained search dogs have proven to be the fastest way to locate a victim in the aftermath of a disaster like an earthquake or hurricane. Disaster search-and-rescue dogs are trained to find people in incredibly unstable environments, where smoke or chemical smells might affect the results of the dog’s search.
Three hundred and eighteen search-and-rescue dogs were trained to find the living who may have survived 9/11. Unfortunately, the terrorist attacks were a true disaster, making it a fruitless search. Despite this, the dogs at Ground Zero were seen doing what dogs do so well– comforting the firemen and first responders during the darkest hours of their lives.
In total, 950 canine dog teams served in response to September 11, 2001. They served at Ground Zero, the Pentagon, and that field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Eleven years later, 2 Million Dogs remembers the day our best friends experienced alongside all in this great nation– and the sweet snuggles and tail wags as our tears rolled down.
We will never forget.
Teri’s blog and all of the blogs posted by her and Erich Trapp can be read at the 2 Million Dogs Blog
YBD’s Notes 1: Thank you, Teri for this beautifully written tribute to the service dogs of 9/11.
YBD’s Notes 2: Lest we all forget, dogs are essential to our survival and the very essence of our goodness.