Blue Flower

An Ode to Firefghters (author unknown)

Firefighters are a different breed. They run to danger as most people run away. They leave comfort and safety to answer the call. They forget sleep to serve strangers, and they hold firm even when the strongest of foundations begin to crack. They aren’t just the men and women of your community, they are the best part of it. They live, they die, and they are remembered not just for what they do, but for what drives them to do it. They are the shining example of what can happen when tough, grizzled and hardened souls let the best parts of themselves seep out through the cracks, when an emergency reminds us all of the real purpose we serve. 

Firefighters are a different breed. They are so imperfect that sometimes we forget how much we need them. They are easy targets when things don’t go right, when Murphy brings his law to bear, but they always come when called. They often go unnoticed until needed, but always are remembered in times of utmost desperation. They don’t hold you place or position in the world against you, and they will save you regardless of their own aches and pains, regardless of their limitations, regardless of who they think you are.

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Firefighters are a different breed. When you hear their sirens and see their lights in your mirror, do not curse them. Instead, appreciate that sound as though it was the voice of God shouting in your ear. “Your brothers need us, and we are coming.” “Your sisters have called, and we are answering.” You do your part by safely moving out of the way, and perhaps saying a silent prayer to whomever you find peace praying to. The pass you, you go about your day, somewhere knowing that you are protected by men and women whose names you do not know.

Yes, firefighters are a different breed. They aren’t heroes or special, they are just reminders of a something that resides in all of us, a piece of us living in someone else, an idea that will never die as long as mankind survives. They are the front line between what we fear and what we hold most dear, and they are the epitome of a helping hand. They remind us all of something we have inside us, of something we can all aspire to. That imperfect arm reaching through the smoke. Those steeled eyes glaring through the flames. That determined mind working to save you from the wreckage. So whether those things are literal or a metaphor, we all see ourselves when we gaze upon the sweaty, blackened, sooty face of a person we’ve never met, and may never see again.