9/11 Heroes Inspire Young Leaders

12 Sep 9/11 Heroes Inspire Young Leaders

For those of us in what is politely called our ‘middle years’, the 9/11 terrorist attacks are a surreal memory. Every one of us can remember where we were when we first heard the news.

For today’s young people, however, these events are the stuff of history books, with those that were present at ground zero taking on the status of legendary heroes. It’s no surprise then, that the students involved in our Junior Leadership Programme were excited about the prospect of meeting some of these larger than life characters.

On Tuesday 10th September, we were very privileged to be visited by three officers from the New York Fire Department, all of whom were involved in the rescue effort on 9/11. Chief Howard Hill, Deputy Assistant Chief John Buckheit and Battalion Chief David Morkal were accompanied by Tony Scott QSM, Crew Chief and Auckland Airport Fire & Rescue.

Inspirational Messages


The theme of the day was ‘leadership’ and the guests spoke about the challenges they have faced throughout their careers. Chief Hill highlighted the importance of earning trust and doing the right thing, even it it will make you unpopular. Chief Buckheit discussed teamwork and made it clear to the listeners that “Leadership is not about you. It’s about the team and your commitment  to each other.”

When asked about their fears, Chief Morkal pointed out that, “Fear isn’t always a bad thing. It drives us to do better. It’s only a problem if it controls your life.” 

The students would happily have chatted to these inspiring men for hours. However, a packed schedule awaited, including an appearance at the Firefighter Sky Tower Challenge the following day.

We’d like to thank the US Consulate, Crew Chief Tony Scott, Dr Davison and everyone who was involved in making this amazing experience possible.

by Roisin Lamb



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