As I sit and watch the unfolding tragedy of the Costa Concordia I can’t seem to reconcile in my mind the fact that the Captain (and it pains me to put that with a capital “C”) was the first one off of the ship. Now I don’t think we need to cling to Edwardian principles of “the Captain going down with the ship” but cowering in a life boat while the people put into your care fumble and die in the darkness is inexcusable. Maybe I’m in a shrinking minority who still believe in woman and children first. I’d like to share my inspiration for this:
This is my Uncle Rich, he was my Dad’s older brother and an all around great guy. Out of my Dad’s 4 brothers he was my quiet Uncle. In fact if he were around today I’m sure he would be a bit embarrassed that I’m devoting any bandwith to some one as humble as him. He never asked for any accolades or boasted about being FDNY he just went ahead and did his job everyday and raised a nice little family in a quiet suburb, that is until the fateful day when he collided with history while “just doing his job”.
Here he is in the basement of the Towers on 9/11. It is the last photo ever taken of him. Right after this photo was taken Uncle Rich started up the stairs to get to his men. When the Tower came down he was in a stairwell with his guys. He was alive for a little bit after the Tower fell, the last words he spoke over the radio were “Tell my wife and kids that I love them”.
Uncle Rich can be found at Calverton National Cemetery these days. So don’t mind me turning bright red in the corner when the discussion turns to why should this Captain be held accountable for his actions. I’ll just continue to idolize those who still believe in Honor and Duty and Remember My Quiet Hero.
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