This is my first post of 2015, and we are already well on our wait to finding 2016.
This past weekend I traveled to Colorado Springs, to the IAFF Fallen Firefighter Memorial. It was decommissioned earlier this year and recommissioned on Saturday. It is breath taking. Captain August Gutzmann, MFD, was added to the memorial and his granddaughter asked if I would join her out there. It took some juggling of schedules and my amazing FF holding down the ship so that I could head out there for the weekend, but I am so grateful that I did.
It was hard to prepare for the ceremony and NOT put myself in the shoes of the family. It was a concerted effort to clear it from my mind as I got dressed. It literally took me telling myself to knock it off and just get moving. But, as I met the families and as I spoke with those left behind, it crept back into my brain. These families all knew it could happen to their FF. But survival tells you to place that in the not now bucket of your brain. No matter if the loss was 2015 or 1985, the loss was real. The pain came back. The wives, the children, the parents, the grandchildren all remembered that pain and grief as though it was yesterday. The ceremony honors the fallen, but reminds the living that they are not alone. And, more importantly, we have not forgotten.
Since I am aware that images are far more powerful than anything I could ever type, I will leave you with these.