Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Giving Thanks

As the skies finally cleared over My Town, it is time to recognize those that put their lives on the line to try and save all that could be saved. These men and women battled valiantly for three days against insurmountable odds. They faced a fire that destroyed and devoured all that was in it's path.  It was one of those fires that will always be a part of My Town's history.  They worked tirelessly in a coordinated effort, keeping the people of My Town current with information and providing a team who's single goal was to stop the fire.  While all that changed with the Federal Govt came to town and assumed command, we cannot forget what they gave us in those early hours and days of what was an historic firestorm.

The men and women of fire departments both local and afar, stood shoulder to shoulder doing their job.  When the rest of us were running away from harm, they walked to it.  They worked in high winds, fierce heat and for most little or no sleep. I give thanks to them and to the many volunteer fire fighters that put their own lives aside, got in their vehicles and drove all night to My Town.  I give thanks to the police officers that assisted with getting people out of neighborhoods and out of danger.  I give thanks to those that flew both helicopters and planes dropping water on a fire that seemed without end.  Their hours of hard work made the difference.

I'm sure that I will never know all those that played a part in bringing this event to a close and while the door is not completely shut on this fire, life looks more normal than it has looked in four long days.  The blue sky has returned, the planes sound far away and the sounds of normal life have returned to my neighborhood.  I remembered it was my day to water the lawn finally and turned on the sprinkler.  The first routine thing Ive done in a long time, it seems.

I leave you, my dear Reader, with a final picture of this fire and those that battled it.  May this one man represent the hundreds that stepped up to our defining moment in time.  They raised their fist in defiance and vowed never to surrender.  They are our heroes.

There is no possible way that those of us who lived through this fire can ever forget what it was like, the way it smelled or the loss we feel.  But in time, nature will reclaim what has been lost, people will rebuild their worlds and a new normal will be found.

May this fire be over soon so that our heroes may rest.  May they know our gratitude as it is unending.

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