"We have staked the whole of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God." James Madison

Monday, February 12, 2007

Extreme Home Makeover

Last night, my family and I watched the latest edition of
ExtremeHomeMakeover. As we sat listening to the story shared by Ty and his crew, I noticed that my family was rivoted to the TV.

With the U.S.M.C. Lima Company in dress blues, the Patriot Guard Riders lining the street, and the national anthem being sung with the police department color guard raising the U.S. flag in his front yard, I found myself in tears. Tears of sorrow for the lost and families of the lost, and tears of pride for our military and the selfless dedication this young man so bravely showed on September 11, 2001.


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On September 11, 2001, Thomas helped rescue two police officers trapped in the debris from the fallen twin towers. Though he risked his life, he kept his identity a secret, as he felt he deserved no special recognition for his act of bravery. Thomas was living on New York's Long Island at the time of the attacks. When he heard the news, he skipped his criminal justice class, grabbed his Marine uniform and headed for the twin towers to help. With another rescuer, he saved the lives of two Port Authority police officers, then disappeared to the next task at hand.

His role came to light when he recently saw the trailer for the film World Trade Center, which featured the police rescue. Neither New York authorities nor the film's producers had been able to locate the man who identified himself at the site only as "Sergeant Thomas," and the film portrayed him as a white man, though he is black. When reporters tracked him down, he hesitantly came forward with his story. Now he is celebrated all over the country.

This hero served his nation in its time of need. Now it's up to Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to serve this family with a new home that's strong and safe. Ty also travels to New York City's Ground Zero, where he has an emotional meeting with police officers John McLaughlin (played by actor Nicholas Cage in the film) and Will Jimeno, the two men Jason saved and the last two people to be pulled alive from the rubble.