Twitter is abuzz with patriotic messages every September 11 as Americans and the
ir allies remember those who died in the terrorist attacks that day in 2001. Now, 18 years later, the story is no different.
We still have not forgotten. Stories of courage and tragedy from that dark day still ring out with a solemn peal, but few have made the Twittersphere stand at attention like the collection of images shared by Twitter user Clays & Birds, aka Andrew Schatz.
“Every year as we move away from the events of 9/11, I find the images of the towers falling don’t impact the way they use to,” Schatz began the thread. “I now try to focus on individual stories from that day to help remind me of the emotions I felt. This year I want to focus on the dogs of 9/11.
“Roughly 300 Search and Rescue dogs were deployed to ground zero,” he continued. “Only 100 were equipped to handle what they encountered. Most SAR dogs weren’t trained to handle large scale operations or urban environments. 9/11 rewrote the training guide for SAR dogs.”
The following posts are from Schatz’ feed, in the order they were posted. In all, this thread has been shared more than 3,500 times since Sept. 11, 2019.
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“While our government was withholding health insurance for first responders to ground zero, private pet insurance companies stepped up,” Schatz tweeted.
He shared the story of a pet owner who thanked her insurance company for their compassion through a heartfelt letter.
“I am writing to tell you how much I appreciate all that you and your staff, the employees of Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) Company, have done for me and my two 9/11 Pentagon Golden Retriever heroes, Riley and Bailey,” wrote Eileen J. Roemer. “With the death of Bailey on Saturday, July 24, 2010, your very generous donation of pet insurance will come to an end. Words cannot express my gratitude for your support over the years since 2001.
Roemer, an FBI agent and a Navy Reservist, was working at the Pentagon the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the building, killing 35.
Americans will never forget 9/11, and images of the outpouring of help that arrived through swift response teams will never fail to evoke gratitude. We can never thank these men, women, and dogs enough.
Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.