February 20, 2024

Letter From The Owners -September 2023

Last month someone had shared the iconic photo of off duty FDNY firefighter Tim Duffy on Facebook of him riding his 2000 Harley-Davidson Super Glide into lower Manhattan not knowing what had just occurred that morning on September 11, 2001. I recall thinking that guy is crazy, but without question
I felt some good old American pride seeing it. When is the last time you can say you felt that? While everyone has been trying to run away and evacuate the area, there he is riding into danger.
Unforgettable, right? 22 years have gone by, and I still remember staring in disbelief at what was happening right before my eyes.

I was at work that morning and it just so happened that I was the first one in that day at the store I was working at. As I was turning all the tv’s on the display shelf one by one, I matched them all
together to the first one that was showing CNN. I stood there wondering, what are the odds that at the very moment I’m turning the tv’s on, a plane crashes into a World Trade Center tower? I remember
questioning the tv of how that is even possible these days? Then before I could even wrap my head around the possibility of what just happened, another plane slammed into the other tower. Oh, my God… that was on purpose! I know a lot of people felt different things that day, but A LOT of us were feeling
very angry as we were glued our tv’s for days, weeks, and even months. Looking back to the first few days after the attack, I remember the buzz around the town of Gaylord where I lived at the time.

People were questioning if we were at a higher risk of danger or safer since we weren’t far from our neighboring town of Grayling where the military base was? Everyone knew of the base because of all the soldiers around town and the regular training that went on there. It wasn’t uncommon to hear tank busters flying over and firing ungodly amounts of rounds at whatever was their target that day. Then of course there were the thundering booms and shakes from the bombs they would drop during training too. It never got old to me, but I would sometimes wonder how the people that lived close to the training areas felt. I remember thinking, man… that’s just a few planes training for a couple hours! I couldn’t imagine what it would be like with that going on all day and night like it was so eloquently put by Toby Keith singing “… And you’ll be sorry that you messed with The U.S. of A. ‘Cause we’ll put a boot in your ass…

It’s the American way. “ That song still makes me smile and nothing can take you back to that day like Alan Jackson asking “Where were you when the world stopped turning?”
I know that many of us have similar stories of where they were and what they were doing when 9/11 happened, but some of you can say where you went, because that moment in time gave a lot of us
Americans a boost of red, white and blue in our blood and some of the best people on this planet joined our armed forces and answered a call that they could not resist. Thank you to those that rushed into danger that day and the days that followed. Thank you to all the first responders, the soldiers, and the families of those that never made it back home. To the brave passengers of Flight 93…
to all of our American heroes … and of course the families that had loved ones at the Pentagon …God
bless you.
Say it with me… WE WILL NEVER FORGET