I extend my condolences to the families and friends of the Fire Fighters who died in Arizona.
I have known many brave people in my life, and many Fire Fighters. My Father-in-Law is a retired Fire Fighter from Gary, Indiana. I am in awe of his life and his bravery.
I can honestly say that the bravery and sacrifice of these men and women in the fire fighting profession humbles me. Taking a gun or knife away from somebody doesn’t scare some people but going in to burning buildings scares most of us beyond comprehension.
Don McLean wrote, “Cause fire is the devil’s only friend” in his classic “American Pie.” While it wasn’t about fighting fires, it’s true in my experience.
I’ve been around just enough fires to understand the vicious nature of the beast. Fire is almost alive, and it certainly can turn toward evil in a hurry. The worst disasters in our modern era seem to revolve around fires. Wild fires, fires in night clubs, fires in homes and apartments. Fires never turn out for the best – somebody loses something or someone every time.
And those crazy, brave, wonderful fire fighters run in to the buildings while the rest of us run out to safety. And they die on occasion. And they are mourned, loved, honored, and missed for the rest of the lives of their friends and families.
Today I think about those families. Most of the people who fight fires are family people. There are undoubtedly many children headed to bed tonight without their dad (It appears it was an all male crew). The Granite Mountain Hotshots are lamented today.
Please take a few minutes and pray for their families. And the next time you see a fire rig, stop and throw them a salute. Better yet, honor them by getting out of their way every time you see a rig coming – they’d appreciate that even more.
I weep for these heroes.