While I don’t understand it, I admire and honor the work and sacrifice of our young men and women who devote their lives to putting out forest fires. I do so by being diligent, not just by NEVER doing anything that might start a fire, but also by calling 911 about smoke I’ve seen along the highway. NC is a smokers heaven, and I see cigarettes flicked out of car windows like jettisoned fireflies. Who can be that reckless? Lots of people.
But yesterday should be the epiphany for us all. Nineteen young men died a horrific death in a conflagration started not by a cigarette, but Mother Nature herself. I can’t wrap my mind around their fear, the heat, and how they suffocated so painfully. It is a tragedy too much to comprehend, and my heart bleeds for their mothers, their families, and all of us with a shred of humanity in our souls.
So to help me deal with this, I am going to do something we all used to do, regularly, and with a sense of community and appreciation for the public servants who daily put their lives on the line so that we can merely dial a three-digit number and get life-saving help. I am going to take a bag of muffins to the fire station with a note that reads “To honor the 19.” They’ll get the sentiment. They’ll definitely appreciate it. And more importantly, they’ll feel appreciated. If you can, please do the same today. Bake if you have the time, and if you don’t, just buy a box of donuts or something nutritious they can share, and visit your fire station today – or over the weekend. I don’t know about you, but I have to do SOMETHING about this, and this is all I can think of.
These young heroes are at peace. Their families are not. Please honor them all.