September 11, 2001, is forever etched in my brain. Try as I might, though, I can't remember one thing about September 10, 2001. It was a Monday, with no signifigance to me.
Tina Bilcher will probably never forget either date. September 10, 2001, Brian, her husband of barely over a year, called home to tell her he was going to work overtime at his job as a firefighter at Squad 1. He told her he loved her and that he would see her soon. It was the last time Tina heard his voice. Together they had a son named Grant, born August 29, 2001. His name is Grant because God granted Tina and Brian the boy they wanted. He was not yet 2 weeks old when his daddy died evacuating people from the World Trade Center. Reports on his age vary from 36-38, but suffice it to say that Brian was quite young with a beautiful life in his family and a job he loved.
Brian was nicknamed "Tugboat" because of his size. He was an intimidating offensive lineman for the Bravest's football team, loved to play practical jokes and loved to do some wild things for an adrenaline rush -- he even talked Tina into jumping off of a lighthouse with him. She says she did it for love. While all of these things paint a picture of a rough guy with a devil-may-care attitude, Brian was best known for his other side.
Tina likes to refer to him as Captain America: if you were in any trouble, Brian would be there. Friend Larry Mann can even testify to Brian's Captain America side: not a strong swimmer, he was pulled out by the riptide. Captain America, or Brian, came out to get him.
One co-worker referred to Brian as the glue that held them all together. John Alborn said, "He would push people to be the best they could be." Tina affirmed that. "My husband always expects for us to believe in ourselves ... and always believe in being the best," she said. "I will not let him down."
Brian was laid to rest on June 5, 2002 -- the day after his 2nd wedding anniversary.
For a list of other bloggers participating in honoring the 2,996 of 9/11, go here.