Talking It Over -- Honoring service of Supermen
It was an honor to attend the Morris Fire Department unveiling of its beautiful monument. I was present at the ceremony not only as a reporter but also as a family member of past and present Morris firefighters, and with interest as the wife of a former Hancock firefighter.
I thoroughly enjoyed the speeches and especially liked Jerry Lesmeister's comment about a firefighters becoming Superman whenever the pager went off.
I remember with mixed emotions my own thoughts when my husband's pager went off. Quite often if it was in the middle of a meal, a visit or even the night, I was mildly disgusted by the interruption. However, as my husband scampered about the house getting ready to go and raced out of the driveway, my heart would begin to pound wildly. I could not help but think that he just might not come back from this call.
My memory also went back to another night nearly 10 years ago. Just after midnight our son called to say that his home was on fire. We didn't ask too many questions but rather raced up to Starbuck to be with him. Once there we learned that two other young men who were also in the home had not yet been found. We watched as firefighters frantically tried repeatedly to enter the home and locate the boys. They risked their own lives but this time the outcome was not successful. It was traumatic, not only for the families of these young men but also for those who tried so hard to save them.
I could easily call any of these firefighters Superman on that night. They seemed to have super powers that just grew and grew as they fought the flames, smoke and elements.
Now, I have a son-in-law and nephew who serve in the Morris Fire Department. I couldn't be more proud of them even as I worry about their safety. I know that what they are doing is courageous and requires a lot of hard work and training. Fighting a fire today is so much different than years ago and learning more about what you could be facing is an important part of it.
We will soon be observing Fire Prevention Week. Traditionally, it is a time when our firefighters go to the schools, give presentations and tours and hand out literature in an effort to prevent fires and educate us about fire safety.
However, it is also a good time to honor those firefighters with our thanks and understanding. It may even be the perfect time to stop and see the beautiful monument in front of the Morris Fire Hall and read the names of all the past and present Supermen from Morris.