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Monday, September 11, 2006

Lt. John R. Fischer, 46, Fire-Fighter, New York, NY: Killed at/in WTC, 9/11 (*STICKIED*)

To Lt. John R. Fischer, 46, New York, NY:

A fire-fighter, a hero, a friend, a father, a husband, a true man.

You represented all that is good in humanity on a day where those who wished to committ the ultimate evil and destroy humanity attempted to strike the core of our will. They failed. As a fire-fighter, you ran into the burning World Trade Center to do the only thing you knew how to do; help people and save lives. You ran into the building as every-one was running out. Even as the buildings began to collapse, you and your comrades continued to run into the towering infernos to try and save as many people as possible. "Fire-fighters run into buildings. They don't run out of them." You define courage and bravery. You are an American hero.

I didn't know you, and I was given your name by chance. But, I don't have to know you to know what kind of person you must have been. I have read the messages that your friends and family have left for you. From those simple messages of love, I can tell that I would have been honored to have known you, and that it would have been a pleasure to be your friend or even acquaintance. There are no words to descibe what I feel. Even if there were, words could not do them justice. Five years after that tragic day, the city of New York has moved on and returned to normal life. They look to the Empire State Building as a direction marker instead of the Twin Towers. However, they do catch themselves looking in that direction every once in a while as they attempt to put the memory of their greatness back into focus. They have never forgotten that fateful day, nor have they forgotten your righteous deeds.

In Judaism, we have a Talmudic saying: "He who saves one person, it is as if he has saved the world." G-d only knows how many people you saved and led to safety that day. But, it is obvious that you saved the world many times over. You showed every person watching what we should all hope to achieve and aspire to be in our life-time; truely selfless. You weren't paid much, so you couldn't have done it for the money. You had a wonderful and beautiful family, so you couldn't have been a fire-man because you, G-d forbid, had a death wish. No, you did it because you were selfless and committed your life to helping people, regardless of the risk to your own life and safety. You committed yourself to a comradery of brother-hood that I and no-one else, outside of the brother-hood of fire-fighters, can ever understand. You were just plain committed.

I can go on and on in my dedication to you, but words can become cheap if you just ramble. I will leave my thoughts here. You weren't Jewish, Lt. Fischer, but I want to end this dedication with a poem and the Jewish Mourners' Prayer; The Kadish.

(Courtesy of Americ 911.com)
They Failed Miserably
by Kevin Caruso

Though they plot evil against you
and devise wicked schemes,
they cannot succeed.
(Psalm 21:11)

And the terrorists did not succeed.

They failed miserably.

Instead of dividing America,
they unified America.

Instead of destroying our spirit,
they strengenthed our spirit.

Instead of moving us away from God,
they moved us closer to God;
and strenthened our faith.

The evil cowards who attacked us failed miserably...
in every way.

And while our 911 angels are in Heaven,
the satanic terrorists burn in hell for eternity.

They failed miserably.

The Mourners' Prayer: (Courtesy of OU.org)

An English Translation

Glorified and sanctified be God's great name throughout the world which He has created according to His will. May He establish His kingdom in your lifetime and during your days, and within the life of the entire House of Israel, speedily and soon; and say, Amen.

May His great name be blessed forever and to all eternity.

Blessed and praised, glorified and exalted, extolled and honored, adored and lauded be the name of the Holy One, blessed be He, beyond all the blessings and hymns, praises and consolations that are ever spoken in the world; and say, Amen.

May there be abundant peace from heaven, and life, for us
and for all Israel; and say, Amen.

He who creates peace in His celestial heights, may He create peace for us and for all Israel; and say, Amen.

The Meaning of Kaddish

Having read the translation of the Kaddish Prayer, one should realize that, although Jewish Law requires that the Kaddish be recited during the first eleven months following the death of a loved one by prescribed mourners, and on each anniversary of the death (the "Yahrtzeit"), and by custom in the State of Israel by all Jews on the Tenth of Tevet ("Yom HaKaddish HaKlali'), there is no reference, no word even, about death in the prayer!

The theme of Kaddish is, rather, the Greatness of G-d, Who conducts the entire universe, and especially his most favored creature, each individual human being, with careful supervision. In this prayer, we also pray for peace - from apparently the only One Who can guarantee it - peace between nations, peace between individuals, and peace of mind.

Paradoxically, this is, in fact, the only true comfort in the case of the loss of a loved one. That is, to be able to view the passing of the beloved individual from the perspective that that person's soul was gathered in, so to speak, by the One Who had provided it in the first place.

As Beruriah, the great wife of Rabbi Meir, consoled her husband, upon the death of their two sons, with words to this effect, "A soul is comparable to an object which was given to us - to each individual, to his or her parents and loved ones, to guard and watch over for a limited time. When the time comes for the object to be returned to its rightful owner, should we not be willing to return it? With regard to our sons, let us therefore consider the matter as 'The L-rd gave, and the L-rd took back, may the Name of the L-rd be Blessed!' "

*For a full list of the names of the victims of the 9/11 attacks, please visit September 11 victims.com. Also, please take a moment to read other dedications and/or to thank or send messages to D.C. Roe for his tremendous work and dedication in putting this project together: Project 2,996. Thank you, Dale, for allowing me to participate in this endeavor. G-d bless you, and G-d bless American!*

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At 5:24 PM, Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

What a great tribute! There is such a positive tone; not because of the sad loss, but because of the noble, selfless sacrifice of a 9/11 hero.

In Judaism, we have a Talmudic saying: "He who saves one person, it is as if he has saved the world."

That is a beautiful expression. For the family of John Fischer, he was their world. May God lend them grace and strength in the absence of such a fine father, husband, and son. America lost so many of its finest that day.

Thanks for such an inspirational tribute Olah, and for the comment you left on my post.

At 11:27 PM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Amen, and thank you. I just hope people are going to come over and see it, so they too may pay tribute to this amazing man.

At 4:45 AM, Blogger MysteriousLady said...

What a wonderful tribute! You did an awesome job. We lost so many good people that day.

My tribute to Chris Traina is up.

At 4:17 AM, Blogger Sassenach said...

A permalink has been created for the 2996 database (I am helping out as a list captain).

You may have noticed that the main site for 2996 has gone down repeatedly, due to the extremely high volume of traffic this project generated. Mirror sites have been put up that show the list of names and links. Some of them are:

• http://www.madmommajen.com/?p=3
• http://bamapachyderm.com/2996-the-911-tributes/
• http://www.onebigdog.net/2996-tributes/

Thank you for taking the time to write this tribute.

At 8:30 AM, Blogger westbankmama said...

Very moving post.

At 5:04 PM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Thank you.


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