Knight Times

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Knight Times

Knight Times

Mike Gregory: An Impactful Hero During 9/11


On September 11, 2001, an event took place that impacted many people and changed the country as a whole. It was a difficult day for everyone that day. Twenty-two years later, the United States remembers and remarks on 9/11 as the day that changed the United States’ viewpoint. Most individuals remember where they were and how life, as they knew it, changed that day. The vast majority of people in America who are old enough to remember the event can recall where they were and what they were doing when they first heard about it. Yet an increasing number of Americans do not remember that day personally because they were too young or had not even been born when it happened, yet they are still aware of the impact it had on those who were present that day. As a nation, we still stand united in remembrance of those who lost their lives in an atmosphere of sadness and patriotism. This day has been written down in history as a day that people will remember as the years go by. It was a historic day that altered the course of history, and its legacy remains complex and ongoing.

Photo Credit: TEEPUBLIC

As 9/11 is perceived differently today than it was ten years ago, so will the lessons learned over time. Inevitably, the present shapes how we perceive the past. Not only do we remember the people who lost their lives, we also remember the people who were heroes that day.  Mike Gregory, one of the security guards at ACP, and who served as a firefighter during 9/11, was gracious enough to speak with me. He is one of the many people whose actions that day were inspirational to others. He described his experience during 9/11 as “feeling highs and lows. The happiness of my fellow firefighters and friends who were safe and alive and the sadness of my fellow firefighters, friends, and others who perished that day,” He first heard the news “on the TV. We received updates from the dispatcher while responding to the World Trade Center. Additionally, we were informed that a plane crashed in Pennsylvania and another plane hit the Pentagon.” 

Photo Credit: PoliticsPA

When I asked Mr. Gregory what his initial reaction had been upon hearing what had transpired that day, he replied, “I was working at my firehouse in the borough of Queens. We dispatched to World Trade Center and arrived approximately 30 minutes after the second tower came down.” Even now, 22 years later, he still thinks about that day because “after 9/11, I realized the freedoms we have in America should not be taken for granted.” I had the opportunity to ask him what the hardest part of his job as a firefighter was, and he replied, “Assisting or seeing a burned victim at a fire call.” Being a firefighter involves things that are difficult to witness, but they have to be able to aid those who need help regardless of what they may see. During 9/11, firefighters and police officers did what they always did: they saved those who could not save themselves, which was an act of selflessness witnessed by all Americans and the rest of the world. 

The 9/11 events taught us many things, among them the existence of heroes today and in the future as well as the importance of remembering the courageous and selfless actions of law enforcement and first responders. For his acts of bravery and heart, Mike Gregory is an admired individual whom many students and staff at ACP appreciate and are thankful for what he has done for our country. He, as a person, represents the qualities of gallantry, dedication, tenacity, resilience, and integrity. What he has done is emotionally astounding, yet inspiring and enlivening. ACP is honored to have him as one of the many admirable parts of our ever-growing and lasting family. 

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