A Breastfeeding Ground Hero
Today is the ninth anniversary of 9-11. Anyone who was here in New York City on September 11, 2001 cannot forget the deep blue, cloudless sky and dry warm weather of that fateful day. My friends and I call Indian Summer days like this “9-11 days”. In an eerie coincidence, mother nature has served up on the exact date an exquisite carbon copy. I half expect to hear fighter jets fly over head. I have a visceral memory of all the sights and sounds of that long day.
As I reflect on 9-11, I remember the mothers who lived downtown. Many of them hunkered down to avoid the acrid smoke that blew from the pile. They did their best to shield themselves from the toxic air and the frightened mood of the city.
This little guy was born a few weeks after the Towers came down. He was son number three born to a family in my lactation practice. He is enrolled in the World Trade Center Health Registry which is tracking the long term health of over 70,000 individuals who were living or working in close proximity to Ground Zero in the fall of 2001.
Breastmilk is often called liquid gold. Today I’m thinking of it as the milk of human kindness that was intended by nature to nurture us all while we are babies. May this little breastfed Ground Hero continue to be healthy. May he grow up “in the land of the free and home of the brave”… in a world that is at peace.
Heartfelt thanks go out to all the heroes, the first responders and our servicemen, among them my brother Lt. Col Stephen M. Clements USAF, who answered the call to action in the wake of 9-11.