“If in the twilight of memory we should meet once more, we shall speak again together and you shall sing to me a deeper song”~K Gibran
This past Monday was the one year anniversary of the terrible Yarnell Hill fire tragedy when 19 men lost their lives protecting a nearby community. I was away for the remembrance ceremony but happened upon a tribute today, set up at a local hotel in honor of the heroes. It was a moving and personal tribute; each fallen firefighter had a space with a portrait which I imagined showed their true selves: nothing overly posed, just more or less snapshots of them, mostly in their firefighting uniforms and smiling. Many of the images were taken by their fellow comrades. One of the men was so young; he looked fresh out of high school. All were in their prime.
There was a written blurb about each of the men, not your standard fare but truly personal memories. Each written memory illustrated some of the unique attributes about each of the men’s personalities. It was very moving. I started to tear up a few times….I knew none of them personally but felt like I did as I stood there reading about their lives and characters. One area showed their equipment and I was really taken aback when I saw the emergency fire shelters that they had to deploy in a futile attempt to save their lives. It was the size of a thick brick and looked very much like the reflective folding sun protector I put in my windshield. That made me feel incredibly sad.
In retrospect, the year has flown by. Time flies and things happen in life that we sometimes cannot control or predict so live your life in the best way possible. Let your loved ones know that they are truly loved. Try to do a little good for someone in need. Honor your own true self. Life passes by in a flash and for the 19 heroes, it ended way too soon.