For some it could be their first call. For others the call may never come. And for many, a call will come that unites them as a small group forever. Yet these calls don't just rattle a few. These calls shake entire houses, units, organizations, families to their very core.
Today I've sat here at work and watched the numbers move up. A call that seems so common to so many this time of year, and is frequently pushed aside for the same reason. A wildland fire. As of this time 19 firefighters have been confirmed as down in Prescott, AZ. As a nation it's shocking. For the community, it's ravaging. And for the houses they belonged to, their families, and friends, it's a nightmare.
In times such as this, people want to know the why. But there is none for them to know. People want to know if it's really worth it. But it too will remain unanswered to their satisfaction. As someone who one stood the line of first response, I can answer these things. Yes, it is worth it. Even in a thankless world, where you see little good, and a lot of bad, it's worth it. It's worth it because at the end of it all, you're actions have made a difference somewhere. Even if it's only for one person, that is enough. It's enough if because you represent hope, where some have none. You represent respect, where many have lost it. You represent light when people are in their darkest of times.
We all know we'll die eventually. We hope we'll live forever. But if we have to go, we hope to go peacefully in our sleep, surrounded by loved ones. Tragically that's not always the case. As a nation, most will never know the names of those that have gone down in the line of duty today. Nor will they know the names of others that will make the ultimate sacrifice. But that's okay. Because first responders answer to many names. Names that we all know and call them by. And today's will live on forever in the spirit that is our firefighter, and our heroes.
Today, 19 of our guardians have died to keep the wolf at bay. 19 people we'll remember when we think of our heroes, and the sacrifices they make to keep everyone else safe. To Prescott, AZ my heart and thoughts are will you and your families.