I seldom use the "first-person" voice when I write on Patch. I believe that journalists should check their emotions at the door before they sit down to write.
However, every September 11 this becomes very difficult for me since I was there, in New York City, on that day.
Still it's my responsibility, no matter how taxing, to find new ways to commemorate the day.
This year the made it a little easier when they came across a very inspiring individual that can remind us how a small gesture can affect many for good.
After the four-alarm fire that displaced people in 26 units at the on Feb. 27, 2012, a mother and daughter brought hot coffee periodically to the firefighters who worked the night shift, according to the fire department's Facebook page.
It turned out that the woman's brother had been a firefighter in New York City and died on 9/11.
She decided to bring coffee to the firefighters that day because her brother had once told her that on some nights out helping people no one offered him a hot cop of coffee, the fire department's post stated.
"She remembered his words and made that her way to help that night," concluded the post.
So the Fire Chief Brad Wardle, Battalion Chief Richard Alameda and firefighters stopped by a week later to personally thank her.
Patch tried unsuccessfully to speak to her Monday.
When I called her, halfway through the voicemail I started to choke back tears. Partly because of the memory of that day; because of my sympathy at her loss; but definitely because of how she had chosen to express herself that night to the fire department.
It takes a lot of strength to take a difficult moment—seeing firefighters put out a blaze in a building near yours that can conjure up sorrowful memories—and turn it into a way to honor her brother, and all 9/11 victims, by serving others.
I'd like to thank her too for giving me a new way to remember that day.
So on this September 11, or any other day of the year, consider doing something nice for others. Click here for ways to volunteer this week.