As we remember the incredible grief that we as a nation felt when we heard the news on the morning of September 11, 2001, thousands of families across the country are remembering loved ones lost on that tragic day.
Former President George W. Bush shared a touching reminder of one hero that day who died while saving others - someone who rushed in to help when he didn't have to.
He writes on his Instagram page:
"Even grief recedes with time and grace. But our resolve must not pass. Each of us will remember what happened that day, and to whom it happened.
We'll remember the moment the news came — where we were and what we were doing. Some will remember an image of a fire, or story of a rescue.
Some will carry memories of a face and a voice gone forever.
And I will carry this: It is the police shield of a man named George Howard, who died at the World Trade Center trying to save others." - September 20, 2001
These words were an excerpt of the speech President Bush made before a Joint Session of Congress nine days after the attacks. He had held up Howard's shield, which was given to him by Howard's mother, Arlene, in the days following the attacks.
What we learned about George Howard showed America what a true hero looks like.
The Washington Free Beacon reports that George Howard was not supposed to be working on that day, but when he heard what was happening, he did something which he had already done 8 years before. The New York Times explains:
Sept. 11 was the second time that George Howard, a Port Authority police officer, was enjoying a day off when he heard that there was trouble at the World Trade Center.
It was also the second time that he raced to work, voluntarily, into the midst of the chaos. The last time was 1993, when the trade center was bombed.
“He always did that,” said his mother, Arlene Howard. “He heard about it and called up and said, 'I'm on my way.'”
George Howard is the epitome of a true hero: Someone who helps when he doesn't have to, who runs in when everyone else is running out, and who gives his life in service to his fellow citizens.
On this 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11th attacks, we remember George Howard and every hero who risked their lives to save others.