Jessica’s Birthday

by B.G. Smith

Jessica was born 21 years ago and is legally old enough to buy an adult beverage today. She graduated from high school, earned a scholarship, and is in her junior year of college. She’s already experienced her first kiss, her first love, and her first heartbreak. Raised by a loving mother and a man who treated her as his own, Jessica is thankful for the blessings in life. Still, her birthday celebration won’t be one of a typical 21-year-old; but a solemn remembrance of the father she never met, a firefighter who perished on the darkest day in American history.

FDNY Foundation

NYC Police Foundation

Tunnels to Towers

The Never Forget Fund

Tuesday’s Children


A Chance Encounter

by B.G. Smith

I sat in the boarding area, chewing on a breakfast biscuit before my flight. A young man wearing a ballcap backward said, “Thank you for being a pilot. I’m proud of you,” and disappeared. My “thank you” between bites was unsuccessful. I found “Chance” at another gate and thanked him for his kind words.

“My dad was a police officer and took his own life,” he said. “You never know if your words may make a difference to someone.”

We took a selfie and said goodbye.

“Maybe I’ll see you again in this life,” Chance said as I walked away.