'Forward, the Light Brigade!'
Was there a man dismay'd ?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Some one had blunder'd:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do & die,
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
The morning of September 11, 2001 at the World Tade Center was a modern day charge of the Light Brigade for New York City policemen, firemen, paramedics who literally charged the Mouth of Hell not knowing that officials in their own government "had blundered" and doomed many of them to death in heroic defense of God and Country.
One such fallen hero was Ricardo Quinn,Fire Department of NYC - Paramedic, Battalion 57
The following information about Ricardo Quinn was excerpted from: "Limited Help for Families of Medical Rescue Workers" September 23, 2001, By JIM DWYER
The family car never came home the night of Sept. 11 to Bayside, and the phone did not ring. So Ginny Quinn was pretty sure that her husband, Ricardo, had been stuck all night at Elmhurst Hospital Center, working as a paramedic. The next morning, she said, she got a call from another paramedic who asked, "Did Rick make it home?" Her husband, who had a shoulder surgery this summer and was on a light duty assignment, had not gone to Elmhurst Hospital. "He just hightailed it over to the trade center," Mrs. Quinn said. Mr. Quinn was one of eight paramedics and emergency medical technicians who ran into the burning towers and did not make it out alive.
From other paramedics, Mrs. Quinn learned that Mr. Quinn ran into Tower 2 and stopped to bandage a fellow medic who had been hit by falling debris. He helped load another patient into an ambulance, went back inside to help, and disappeared. "I know he went in there thinking of other people," Mrs. Quinn said, referring to her husband's run into the tower. "The world is missing a good, good person." She paused. "Well, it's missing 5,000 of them."
Like the professional British soldiers of the Light Brigade at Balcalava, Richard Quinn was a professional soldier as well -- albeit -- a soldier of the homefront who was frequently called upon to put life and limb on the line to save his fellow Countrymen. Mr. Quinn was a member of the elite New York City Fire Department; an organization that many apply to serve in, but few are selected. His specialization in the NYFD was the position of paramedic, and in execution of his office, Mr. Quinn saved many lives at the cost of his own.
Ricardo Quinn left behind him a family and many friends who remember him as a kind and honorable man. His service with an elite paramilitary organization -- the NYFD -- was of the highest level. The manner of his untimely and heroic death in the Service of God and Country is something that will never be forgotten.
Furthermore, it must never be forgotten that "Uncommon Valor Was Common" that terrible day on September 11, 2001 when hundreds of New York City's Best charged into buildings on fire and in danger of collapse, so like the British soldiers of long ago who charged the Russian cannons without infantry support because it was their duty and honor to do so.
The last picture we have of Ricardo Quinn is running into soon-to-collapse Building Two of the World Trade Center dodging flames, debris and falling bodies in his mission to save his comrades and the innocent laying about bloody and bleeding. He never returned. How many of us would have the courage to charge the Mouth of Hell even if our duty required it? Few of us, I'm sure...very few of us.
This is why we salute men like Ricardo Quinn.
This is why we will never forget the Heroes Of 9/11.
We sleep safely in bed tonight because our professional Servicemen like Ricardo Quinn stand the night watch and defend us from our enemies.
The fatalities were in the thousands, with 2973 people killed, including 246 on the four planes, 2602 in New York City in the towers and on the ground, and 125 at the Pentagon. Among the fatalities were 343 New York City Fire Department firefighters, 23 New York City Police Department officers, and 37 Port Authority police officers. Also, a further 24 people remain listed as missing in the attack on the World Trade Center to this day.
From "The Charge of the Light Brigade"
When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wonder'd.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred!
This poem was written to memorialize a suicidal charge by light cavalry over open terrain by British forces in the Battle of Balaclava (Ukraine) in the Crimean War (1854-56). 247 men of the 637 in the charge were killed or wounded. Britain entered the war, which was fought by Russia against Turkey, Britain and France, because Russia sought to control the Dardanelles. Russian control of the Dardanelles threatened British sea routes.