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Squad 18

2010 May 12

I snapped this shot of Squad 18‘s fire house quicky, before they could close the door. Though I love the light, the composition isn’t exactly what I was looking for. I should’ve crossed the street, and made sure I was centered on the doorway. So I was fairly sure that I wasn’t going to post it. But before making up my mind, I googled Squad 18 to see if I could learn something about them. They are part of NYFD’s Special Operations Command specializing in hazardous materials incidents. Inside this doorway, they keep their fire truck, their hazmat truck, and a 9-11 memorial.

Squad 18 lost seven firefighters that day. And, as I read each one of their stories, I realized that as a new arrival to NYC, this deep wound that the city experienced 9 years ago is something I can never fully understand. Outside of ground zero itself, there is really no evidence it ever happened. Except for the fire stations. In NYC, they are so much a part of the communities they serve. You walk by them every day.  And in front of each one, you see the names. Thanks to them, newcomers like me will always be reminded of what happened that day.

So I’m posting this imperfect picture. Because it made me love this city in a whole new way.

Oh, and, incidentally, I shouldn’t have been in such a hurry. The front of the bay door, which isn’t visible here, was painted in 1976 for the bicentennial. I’ll go back and see if it’s worth sharing.

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