Tomorrow, September 11th, 2019 is the 18th anniversary of 9/11.
It’s only fitting that we stand solemnly in remembrance of those who died on that fateful day, and of those who died in the line of duty, because if not for them, the tragedy would have multiplied many times over.
Yes, we are talking about the first responders, whose collective efforts saved at least 25,000 lives that day, a number which is no exaggeration!
Police Officer Kenneth Tietjen was one such officer who risked and sacrificed his life in order to save many other lives inside the tower.
Photo Credit - Newspaper Media Group
Officer Kenneth, growing up as a boy, was actually scared of police cars and fire trucks.
When he got a job that involved both of those, he was teased to no end by his friends and family. Even then, he loved his job and had a big smile on his face every time he wore the uniform, recalls his mother in an interview.
He volunteered as a fire-fighter first, and then, his love for helping people finally drove him to take up a career in law enforcement.
Officer Kenneth already had a few bravery awards in his name before 9/11.
On the fateful morning of September 11th, Officer Kenneth heard the calls for help on his radio.
Not having a police car at hand, he stopped a taxi and commandeered it to ground zero along with a fellow officer.
Without flinching once, he jumped straight into the rescue efforts inside North Tower and began evacuating hundreds of people stuck in the lobby.
This is when tower two was struck by another passenger jet.
Officer Kenneth rushed straight into the lobby of tower two and started evacuating people stuck there.
He and his partner realized they had just one respirator between them to fight the smoke and dust caused by the burning jet fuel and the falling debris.
So, Officer Kenneth grabbed the respirator from his partner and joked, “Seniority rules”, and rushed on the upper floors of the tower.
That was the last his partner or anyone else saw of him.
Minutes later, the tower collapsed.
Later, his memorial services were completed in the presence of a massive crowd, which was proof to the fact of the incredible number of lives Officer Kenneth Tietjen had touched.