Sept. 11, 2001, impacted everyone.
Our world is different because of the tragic events that occurred on that day. Some endured unimaginable pain and loss; others sacrificed everything to save their fellow men and women's lives.
We are grateful to have First Responders Park in the city of Hilliard to memorialize those who died on 9/11.
In 2010, Hilliard dispatched a delegation to retrieve steel from the World Trade Center and bring it to Hilliard for the park. One of the largest such memorials in the country, First Responders Park features granite walls inscribed with the names of those who lost their lives, a reflecting pool, personalized pavers, a monument honoring fallen officers and a metal sculpture made from salvaged steel.
The park is our gathering place for somber reflection and remembrance during Hilliard's annual memorial service held by the city each Sept. 11.
On the evening of the attacks, President George W. Bush addressed the nation about the events of the day: "Today, our nation saw evil -- the very worst of human nature -- and we responded with the best of America. With the daring of our rescue workers, with the caring for strangers and neighbors who came to give blood and help in any way they could."
President Bush's comments highlight the "ordinary Americans" who have done extraordinary things for others.
One of these "ordinary Americans" is Moira Smith, who grew up in Brooklyn, New York. She was part of a first-generation Irish immigrant family.
During her childhood, Moira's friends saw in her a characteristic that would shine bright throughout the rest of her life -- an innate desire to help others. Her passion for people led her to a career with the New York Police Department.
On Sept. 11, 2001, officer Smith was working the 13th precinct in New York and witnessed American Airlines Flight 11 crash into the north tower. She communicated the first radio broadcast that alerted other first responders to the crash. Then she rushed to the World Trade Center site.
While many of the details of Moira's experiences that day will never be known, survivors have painted a picture of how officer Smith's calm composure helped evacuate hundreds of people from the south tower. After guiding several injured people out, she went back in as the tower collapsed.
Officer Smith was the only female NYPD officer to be killed on 9/11. Her daughter was 2 years old at the time. Her husband was a fellow police officer.
This extraordinary American was one of 400 first responders who died on 9/11 -- running in when others were running out.
We must always hold dear the sacrifice made by some so that others may live.
At 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11, we again will gather at First Responders Park to honor Moira and the others who perished in 2001. Please join us to reflect and pledge that we will never forget.
Robert Fisher is chief of the Hilliard Division of Police.