Local mortician was one of the 9-11 heroes

Dear editor,

On Sept. 11, 2001 Islamic extremists, in the most cowardly way, hijacked four commercial jet aircraft and crashed them.

One went into each of the World Trade Center towers, another flew into the Pentagon and the fourth, which was probably headed to a target in Washington D.C., was retaken by the passengers and forced down into a field in Pennsylvania.

Almost 3000 lives were lost on that horrific day.

We should take this time to rededicate ourselves as to why they were lost and remembering them and those that have risen up to protect us and serve this nation in her time of need.

One of our very own accepted that challenge when called upon. Stephen Jones, of Phillips & Luckey Funeral Home is part of an all volunteer team called Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Teams or DMORT.

As a subject matter expert in Mobile Morgue Operations, Remains Identification and many more skills to include Search and Recovery techniques, Stephen was called upon and he answered to help take on this grizzly task in New York.

This is an all-volunteer organization, no pay is included but when Stephen first heard the news, he knew there would be a need so when the call was made, he was ready and took off for Ground Zero.

Thankfully, there are people like Stephen in our community that are ready to serve our nation in her most trying times.

The 9-11 tragedy is just one example of the times Stephen has served.

He was on the ground when the space shuttle burned during re-entry over east Texas.

During Hurricane Katrina, Stephen stood in alligator-infested waters receiving bodies as they were brought in.

Unfortunately, there are occasions when disaster str ikes. Thank God we have men and women that are ready to take on the challenge.

Please join me in remembrance of those that died tragically 10 years ago but also, let’s remember everyday those that have served and continue to serve this great nation during tragedy and disasters.

Next time you see anyone in uniform, military, police or fireman, let them know they are appreciated.

And the next time you see our local hero Stephen Jones, shake his hand and tell him thank you for all that he does.

Thanks Stephen.
Derik Strelsky

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2011-09-15 digital edition

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