1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Angry Where were our neighbors?

    With a very heavy heart I attended todays memorial for Kimberly, and Lewis. I stood with my brothers and sisters, I saluted, I cried. I was moved more by this ceremony than at any individual point in my entire life, and came away with a feeling of brotherhood, and of love for my fellow man that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.
    I have a question however. When called to help our communities, we never ask why, nor do we balk at our chosen duties. We come when asked, and we come quiclky when need is expressed no matter the circumstances.
    This week, we asked our neighbors to be with us, and join us today in our time of grief, we asked because we wanted our neighbors to help us carry our burden of mourning. To calm our saddened hearts by simply being there to show their solidarity, and their sense of pride in what we provide to them.
    A great majority of the civilians in the stands today were either family, or close friends of firefighters. Not our neighbors.

    Where were our neighbors?

  2. #2
    Matt Barna
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I understand your feelings brother. Do not let it get you down. The world has changed
    alot towards the everyday heroes. I have volunteered for the fire service going on 14 years now. Our station received a posterboard from a daycare that was signed by all the children, that meant alot. I also had on my doorstep this morning a chocolate rose from my next door neighbors for our station thanking us for our service to the community. I was at a Walgreens last Tuesday standing in line and a lady tapped me on the shoulder and thanked me for for what we do. It meant the world to me. She said may God Bless and protect you.

    I was unable to attend the memorial service, but I spent alot of time checking up on my friends that are HFD firefighters who were either at the scene or knew Kim and Lewis. I made sure they were O.K. and let them know that I was here if they needed anything. I watched the memorial service on a portable television at work and yes I cried. I had the honor of staging our apparatus on Eldridge Rd as the funeral procession of Lewis Mayo passed by. I will never forget that moment. As we waited for the procession I cannot count the times that people waved, gave the thumbs up or honked their horns.

    I believe we had alot of our neighbors watching, but I think alot do not know how to respond. There are unfortunately probably some that do not care either way until they need us of course.

    After serving my community for 14 years I have discovered that as firefighters we do something that whether we are paid or volunteer that many outside the brotherhood will never understand. Unless our neighbors have been in our shoes they will never understand the depth of our calling.

    We make runs time and time again and never hear a "thank you", but when you do hear a "thank you" it is like precious gold and it makes all the difference in the world.

    So hang in there brother and when the "thank yous" do come, and they will, remember to savor them and show your appreciation to those that say the "thank you."

    I have found that our best hope is to continue to perform our service to the best of our ability as that is what God expects. God will thank us when the time is right.

    Thank You brother for the service that you perform and may God Bless and protect you always.

    Matt Barna
    Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I too was dissapointed with the civilian turnout. However, I am aware of entire offices watching the service carried by all major broadcasts. Perhaps if the service were on Saturday rather than Friday the turnout would have been more impressive. But that's one of the differences between a firefighter and civilian - civilians are used to being convenienced - we respond on a moments notice. We know, we care. Bea ssured that civilians all over the country were watching on TV.

    Thomas McBarron
    Executive Director
    South Texas Advanced Tactical Team Search & Rescue

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I want you to know that your neighbors appreciate all that the firefighters do for us on a daily basis. And my heart grieved and I cried for the loss that the Houston Fire Department suffered. It could have been any one of the people that I know that are involved in the fire service both in Houston and elsewhere. Possibly the lack of civilian participation in the memorial service is due to the fact that they didn't know what to do or if their particpation was even wanted. I looked at the Houston Fire Department web site about the memorial service and all it mentioned was what fire personnel were to do. There was no mention of civilian participation. I hope that you understand that we do care and that our hearts cried just as much as any one touched by this tragedy.

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Indeed it seems like the general public does not seem to show their support during times like this, but I can say that I've seen a great deal of support.

    I'm a retired 12 year vet of the fire service, and many every day people have said to me (my son's school teachers for example), "I know that this loss has hit close to home with you, and our thoughts go with you". The reason they have mentioned it, is that I still wear my t-shirts and hats with pride.

    I would be willing to guess that those who have had their lives touched by a firefighter or department due to a house call, are certainly aware and sympathetic.

    Keep the faith, brother!


  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    May I say Amen to the statement by ebush.
    When 6 firefighters in Worcester, Massachusetts were killed in the line of duty, it seems as though the whole state was made aware and showed concern. How long it will last, nobody knows.

    But we have had multiple LODD's before in other departments and the turnout for the final ceremonies was us.

    It took a monumentus tragedy and phenominal
    press and television coverage to make it happen.

    But hang in there and keep plugging, it's all any of us can do!

    Good Luck and be careful out there,EXJAKE:-)

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