Sixteen years ago, terrorists attempted to shatter our great nation. So many of those nearest and dearest to us were lost. Consequently, many more brave individuals would give their lives in the years that followed. As we remember and commemorate the 16th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks, let’s stand together and pay tribute to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice on this day and the years following.
It is stories like Danny Irizarry’s that display a heroic ability to cope with, and overcome, the heartbreak and wounds of war. Danny Irizarry’s dad, Army Staff Sergeant Henry Irizarry, was killed in Iraq when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Humvee. Danny’s father never settled for excuses and after his father’s death, Danny used that mentality to get through a very difficult time.
With the help of Fallen Patriots, Danny was able to attend his dream school, the University of New Haven. He graduated with a degree in criminal justice and, just two weeks later, entered the New York Police Department’s Police Academy. Danny knows his father would have had “the utmost respect for his current profession because he would have understood the gravity of being a police officer in the Bronx.”
Some of us lost loved ones on September 11th, while others saw the attacks happen first hand. In some cases, American citizens have no direct connection to the attack, but we all still share a patriotic feeling close to our hearts that reminds us to “never forget” the day the world stopped turning.
In 2003 Rachel Splinter lost her dad, Christopher Splinter, to a roadside bomb in Iraq. He was more than willing to deploy to Iraq in order to help. Rachel will never forget September 11th and believes it was a day our country came together to mourn those we had lost and to prepare for what was to come.
“On September 11th, 2001, my family and I were living in Fort. Leavenworth Kansas. I was in third grade when we got out of school early and were told we would not have school the next day either. I was not sure why, but I was glad to be out of school,” explained Rachel. “When I got home, my mom told me the news and I was shocked, not knowing what it meant. My mom started crying and I remember being heartbroken as I learned about our country being attacked and all the lives that had been lost.”