Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Firemen do not regard themselves as heroes.

Was talking to my fireman husband a while back about so many recent firefighter deaths.  And it bothers him about all the talk of dying as a hero.  So I thought it fitting to mention this today as we remember the huge number of lives lost on 9/11/01.  Not just those of firefighters.  Though 343 lives in one fell swoop is extreme.  But of all the deaths on and related to that day.  And I think anyone who lost someone on that day would consider their loved one a hero.  So many heroes, most just not wearing a uniform. 

So here is what my husband says best expresses his thoughts on the job of a fireman, and being considered a hero. 

“Firemen are going to get killed. When they join the department they face that fact. When a man becomes a fireman his greatest act of bravery has been accomplished. What he does after that is all in the line of work. They were not thinking of getting killed when they went where death lurked. They went there to put the fire out, and got killed. Firefighters do not regard themselves as heroes because they do what the business requires.”
-- Chief Edward F. Croker, FDNY,
speaking upon the death of a deputy chief and
four firefighters in February of 1908

Firemen enter this job knowing what is ahead.  And they stay in this job because it calls their names.  It's not only what they love, but it's who they are.

And I have to think that all 343 of our lost firefighters on 9/11 might have agreed.

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