Saturday, September 10, 2011

Doing Her Job

On September 11th, the policemen and firefighters, paramedics and first responders were not the only ones who became heroes by simply doing their jobs.  The follow is a story taken from my Intro To Special Education textbook from graduate school (Smith, 2007).

September 11, 2001, changed the lives of most Americans.  And the events of that terrible day certainly altered the lives of Michael Hingson and his guide dog, Roselle.  On 9/11, Mr. Hingson was working on the 78th floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center in his job as a sales manager for a computer data storage company, and on the day he and Rosell -- like so many others -- became heroes.
On that morning, Mr. Hingson was hosting a meeting, and Roselle was sleeping under the table at her master's feet.  At the sound of a deafening boom, Roselle took her duty station right by Mr. Hingson's feet.  David Frank, a coworker of Hingson's, saw debris, burning paper, fire and smoke out of the office window.  They knew they needed to evacuate the building.  Roselle and Mr. Hingson guided everyone down the dark and smoky stairways to safety, and once on the ground, they continued to guide people a safe distance from the collapsing buildings.  When Mr. Hingson was out of harm's way he called his wife on his cell phone and broke down in tears, "He sobbed tears that seemed connected to hell and yet also to heaven.  He hugged Roselle, who was perfectly calm.  He hugged and hugged her, unable to find words.  Finally, he said, 'Good dog.  Good dog.'" (Laskas, 2003, p.46).  He also often recalls that trip down the stairway and "thinks about those firefighters who stopped to pet her on the way up the burning tower.  He thinks about how Rosell answered them with dog kisses.  He thinks those just may have been the last moments of unconditional love those brave people felt, "Good dog," he says.  "Good dog." (Laskas, 2003, p. 48)... 

To read a more detailed account of Roselle and Mr. Hingson's exit from the North Tower, visit here.
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