A tip of the cap is due to GM for the automaker's new Chevy Silverado TV spot, which premiered this Sunday during the Olympics. The spot features brief testimonials from drivers of high-mileage pickups wearing the bowtie badge, but one stands out more than the rest. Twenty seconds in, FDNY Firefighter Craig Monahan's segment opens with a wide shot of him standing in front of the Manhattan skyline. His battered truck has melted lights and a Ladder 5 placard affixed to the bed on the driver's side. In the spot, he recounts how the damaged truck started when he reached into the singed interior and turned the ignition key, saying that it served as an isnpiration, "If that truck could keep going, then we could all keep going."

This all happened on 9/11, a fact left unsaid but tactfully implied in the commercial. Veteran New York Daily News reporter Michael Daly knows Monahan and tells the truck's full story in an excellent piece that ran in Tuesday's Daily News. Frankly, you need to go there and just read the whole thing, because Daly's account is first-rate. Reading it also underscores the level of restraint GM exercised in how it used the truck in the commercial. It's a great TV spot, but the story behind that one particular 14-second segment is more remarkable and inspirational than you'd ever guess. Firefighter Monahan agreed to let his truck be used because he felt it was important for people see it and get a feel for what it represents. Monahan was compensated by GM for his participation, but he donated that money to another FDNY family, showing that even now, that burned and battered Chevy still helps him help others. We salute him, and we hope he keeps that truck forever. Thnks for the tip, Julius!

[Source: New York Daily News]