Thank you

Posted: Wednesday, August 07, 2002

... for firefighter support

I would like to take this opportunity to share some of my thoughts and give thanks to all of the wonderful people that made this trip so special, not only for my wife and I, but also for my family, friends and especially the FDNY (New York Fire Department).

Some months ago an idea was proposed to bring a firefighter from New York to represent the brave members of the FDNY who were lost, their families, along with the thousands of firefighters and rescue workers that worked tirelessly for months during the dangerous rescue and recovery operations.

You set out to honor these brave and selfless people and, so importantly, our loved ones the wives and families we leave behind every day we walk out the door, never knowing if it's the last time we will see each other. This has to take its toll on them, yet they bravely stand by us with unending love and support, always trying not to show the fear they must feel inside.

I had so many questions in my mind the days before we left, I was beginning to make myself nervous and a little afraid of going. Will they be friendly and open or stand off, not wanting too get close for fear of upsetting us because of the closeness of the losses we suffered?

Thankfully, within the first hour of arriving any fears we had quickly disappeared. Bob Bartholomew and Rich Poor picked us up at the airport and they soon made us feel right at home.

It just kept getting better the more people we met. We were taken in like loved ones that had not been home in many years and made to feel at ease. The many sightseeing trips that were provided for us and the time spent talking and sharing our lives with some very special friends was a tremendous relief from the enormous grief and strain we have had to try and cope with for so many months. The friendships we made and the memories we will always have of our visit will forever help us get through the sad and dark days that will be a part of our lives forever.

The events of Sept. 11, 2001, have changed all of us forever. From tragedy has come a new awareness of the values that we must hold and keep our nation the greatest in the world. To all of the friends that we have made, you set out to honor the memory of all those lost, the survivors, workers and our loved ones. You reached out across America to show your support and love for us from far away. You have done so with great care, pride and true human spirit from the heart, and I want you all to know how grateful we are.

The night we had to leave was a sad one. When you presented my wife with such a meaningful and beautiful bracelet, it is hard to express in words how much that meant to us. In two short weeks we felt so very close to many of you, it was difficult to leave. If I may, we would like to give special thanks to Bob Bartholomew and Kaye Kanne, Sandy and Susanne Williams, Don and Deb Zenger, Gerry and Beverly Dorsher, Paul Comolli, Hans Baertle, John Walsh, Vanessa Putnam, Pat Peterson, all my firefighting brothers and sisters, all our friends at Pat's (Louie's) Douglas Inn, and all the rest of the wonderful friends we made, too many to name. And who could forget Rose's mouse. To all our firefighting brothers and sisters in Douglas and Juneau, I saw great pride and spirit in you, keep it up and stay safe.

Joe and Mary Sardo

Long Beach, N.Y.

... for support of a life

The family of Forrest Glenn Stevens would like to thank the following for the celebration of his life.

Special thanks to all the respite providers from REACH Inc. that gave their love and attention to Forrest.

Special thanks to the Valley Bullwinkles for all the fun times that Forrest's family and his REACH staff shared.

Special thanks to the men and women of the Moose Lodge, Hospice Home Care of Juneau, and all the friends for their love and affection.

Special thanks to the teachers, aides and nurses at Riverbend Elementary School.

And special thanks to all the doctors and nurses who cared for Forrest, especially Dr. Thomas McCabe, who was with him at birth and at death.

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