In 10 years we never spoke of that day or the events that followed but in speaking of attending a memorial service to commemorate the 800 volunteer ministers from ground zero, the horror and insanity of it welled up in my eyes. At first Barbara didn’t want to attend because at 70 years old she would be tired from working all day in Brooklyn and then have to take a train into Manhattan then a train and bus back to Brooklyn later that evening. Once she started talking about it the feelings rushed in and the pride for having been there with her family and friends took over and she decided to come any way despite how tired and late she would get home. I could see the pain and suffering of the rescue workers overwhelmed, tired, heartbroken but not beaten, as she spoke. I could hear her voice break and see tears held back for my sake the same way she did the first night at ground zero, mustering all her courage to be strong for the men and women in blue so as not to add to their grief. She had a special place in heart knowing her son was a member of the NYPD and knowing a lot of these rescue workers personally. A frail woman of sixty stood amidst the devastation both human and physical among the rescue workers and Volunteer Ministers of the Church of Scientogy NY. She was not trained for rescue work as a first responder but as a human being who cared enough to risk her own life to show up along with her family and friends to do what she could to support the rescue workers. Along with her sons, daughter and grandson she worked for weeks doing anything she could to help provide succor, a drink of water or just a smile. The worst in man has a strange way of bringing out the best in man. This man wants to acknowledge Barbra Yarshevitz for setting a fine example of kindness and courage in extreme conditions in the finest tradition of heroes from any walk of life in any situation. Along with all the people who helped you have my gratitude. Thank you Mom.
Posted on Routine Patrol.