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In honor of true heroes

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  • In honor of true heroes

    When I was about 5 years old my dad and I were coming out of a hospital (I think I got shots or something), when a frantic and panicked woman approached us. She had locked the keys in her car and her baby was locked inside. My dad went to our truck, got a coat hanger (this was the early '70s), and got the door unlocked in a jiffy. The woman just couldn't thank him enough she was so relieved and appreciative. I watched my dad 'save' the baby with wide-eyed awe. When we returned to our truck, I looked up at dad and said, "Boy, it's a good thing you're a fireman!" Since then my dad and all firemen have been heroes in my eyes. Even now, retired after 30 years on the force, my dad loves to tell this story.

    I was always glad when the 'open house' at school landed on a night when my dad was on - because I knew he'd get a replacement and come in his uniform. I was never prouder than when he'd hold my hand and everyone I knew would see that my dad was a fireman and therefore, a hero.

    I remember sometimes getting into those silly arguments with friends about whose dad was better than whose. Nobody could ever top having a fireman for a dad. (In my eyes, not even cops compared because they give tickets and arrest people, but firemen are only there to help.)

    Growing up the daughter of a fireman meant I got to be in parades sitting in a big rig, and they even let me push the button in the floor to sound the horn. It meant my brother and I got special home visits from Santa before Christmas arrived when he'd bring us lollipops and candy. (Only later did I realize it was one of my dad's fireman friends). I remember visits to the station and other firemen swinging me around and putting me up on their shoulders. I even got to slide down the pole at headquarters.

    I remember laying on my bed quietly reading when a rig's horn would blast - and my head would almost hit the ceiling. Oh, Dad forgot his lunch again! And I'd go outside to say 'hi' and witness every kid on the block come running to see the fire engine.

    I know what a special, special group of people firefighters are. My dad is one of them, my uncle, my cousin (who is active), and my grandpa, too. The stories of the firefighters in NYC have left me heartbroken. My heart goes out to their companies and their families. They lived as heroes and died as heroes. That's how I will always remember them.

    I received the following poem from my dad awhile back via e-mail. You've probably already seen it, but I felt it worthwile to repost here in the current circumstances, in memory of the NYC firefighters' final big ride...

    A Firefighter's Gloves

    A firefighter's gloves hold many things,
    from elderly arms to a kid's broken swing.
    From the hands they shake and the backs they pat,
    to the tiny claw marks of another treed cat.
    At 2 am. they are filled with the chrome
    from the DWI who was on her way home.
    And the equipment they used to roll back the dash
    from a family of six she involved in the crash.

    The brush rakes in spring wear the palms out,
    When the wind does a "90" to fill them with doubt.
    The thumb of the glove wipes the sweat from the brow
    of the face of a firefighter who mutters, "what now".

    They hold inch and three quarters flowing 175
    so the ones going in come back out alive.
    When the regulator goes; then there isn't too much
    but the bypass valve they eagerly clutch.

    The rescue equipment, the ropes, the c-collars,
    The lives that they save never measured in dollars,
    Are the obvious things firefighter's gloves hold
    or, so that is what I've always told.

    But there are other things firefighter's gloves touch,
    Those are the things we all need so much.
    They hold back the rage on the 3am. call,
    They hold in the fear when you're lost in the hall.
    They hold back the pity, agony, sorrow;
    They hold in the desire to "do it tomorrow".

    A glove's just a glove till it's on firefighters
    who work all day long just to pull an all-nighter.
    And into the fray they charge without fear
    at the sound of a "Help" they think they hear.

    When firefighters' hands go into the glove,
    It's a firefighter who always fills it with love.
    Sometimes the sorrow is too much to bear
    and it seeps the glove and burns deep "in there".

    Off come the gloves when the call is done
    and into the pocket until the next run.
    The hand becomes lonely and cold for a bit,
    And shakes just a little thinking of it.

    And they sit there so red-eyed with their gloves in their coats,
    The tears come so fast that the furniture floats.
    They're not so brave now; their hands they can't hide,
    I guess it just means that they're human inside.

    Although some are paid and others are not
    the gloves feel the same when it's cold or it's hot,
    To someone you're helping to just get along,
    When you fill them with love, you always feel strong.

    And so when I go on my final big ride
    I hope to have my gloves by my side,
    to show to St. Peter at that heavenly gate
    cause everyone knows, firefighters don't wait.
    Thank God!

    Author Unknown

    God bless you all!

    Firefighter's Daughter

  • #2
    Firefighters are a humble group of people.
    I tend to agree with the philosophy that we are "ordinary people put into extraordinary situations"

    But our brothers and sisters with FDNY are Heroes in the truest sense of the word!!
    Career/Volunteer, We are all professionals!


    • #3
      Awesome post young lady!!!! A big hug of thanks goes out to you!
      09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
      IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
      "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
      BMI Investigator
      The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.


      • #4
        Agree. Very moving. Thank you in a big way........


        • #5
          Thanks for that post... It was extremely touching.
          Be safe brothers


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