This weekend marks ten years since the horrific events of September 11, 2001, and I will be traveling to Liberty State Park across from Ground Zero with AVMA President Dr. Rene Carlson. She and I will attend a tribute event honoring the 9-11 Search and Rescue Dog teams and the VMATs and veterinarians who supported them. Several of the VMAT members who responded in 2001 also will be present.
For nearly two months following the tragedy, 51 VMAT volunteers provided countless hours of veterinary medical care and support to about 300 remarkable search and rescue dogs and their human partners working at Ground Zero. Their work was tireless, though at the same time both emotionally and physically exhausting.
Regardless of where you were or how you may have supported the response efforts of 9/11 each of us has been changed forever. For many of us, these events led to a deeper appreciation for our freedom and our country.
This weekend we will express our gratitude and appreciation for the VMAT volunteers and all others who served and continue to serve this great nation, while also once again mourning the immeasurable loss the nation suffered on 9/11. The September 15 issue of JAVMA has a terrific article on the Search and Rescue dog teams of 9/11, and the response activities of VMAT, and I encourage you to read it as you commemorate 9/11 in your own way.