Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Thank you.

When I was growing up, Dad kept a radio in his bedroom that would sound off the calls that came into the firehouse. If you kept listening, you could hear details of the call being patched through, and later, conversations between those actually on site. If there was a big fire nearby, sometimes my brothers and I would ride our bikes to watch the guys in action. Other times, we would just sit on the bedroom floor listening to the radio for some news of Dad or Papa who was the chief at the time.  

One day while Dad was on duty, Mom listened to the details of a fire the guys were called to. I've heard her say that on that day there were panicked voices saying that they didn't know where Dad was. 
Sometime after that, I remember the radio being gone. 
But radio or not, the sounds of sirens passing past the house at all hours gave the same sort of reminder that Dad was on call. 

I guess I never thought on it too much as a kid. The risk, that is. The fact that when Dad left the house in the morning, he was committing himself to serve the people of our city for the next 24 hours regardless of the danger it might present. 

That's a hero if you ask me. Maybe I'm biased because I have so much family history in firefighting. Or because two of the guys I love most in the world stand beside each other every third day at the firehouse down the street from where I grew up to respond to all the calls that come in. 

But the truth is that all the men and women who serve their cities in that way have sacrificed much. 
And those that faithfully support them from home have sacrificed much. 
Today is International Firefighters' Day and I wanted to use it as a chance to say thank you. For your sleepless nights, the time away from your families, the risks you willingly face and fight for us -- thank you

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