Sunday, April 7, 2013

A Fallen Hero

Anyone who knows me knows that Chicago Fire has quickly become my favorite show on TV. The pilot episode was intense as we saw a firefighter lose is life in the line of duty. With consultants from the real Chicago Fire Department the show does a great job documenting the lives of the brothers and sisters of Chicago Firehouse 51. I think I've always had a fascination with firefighters and the idea that there are men out there that choose a profession that, by design, puts them in immediate danger every time they're called to duty.

Growing up my mom always told me that firemen were the only "civil servants" that you should want to see sitting around. We'd drive by fire houses and see the guys all sitting around a table or standing out front of the house just hanging out. I'd ask why they weren't working and she always said it was better that way because it meant that everyone would be going home to their family. As young as I was when the message started, I understood. I grew up with such a great respect for firemen and her message has been with me since I can remember.

Yesterday my hubby, my best friend, and I spent the day with Philly's 2nd Alarmers at their Annual Phillies' tailgate. It was a great time with great friends for a greater organization and we had a blast. We bought some raffle tickets with hopes of winning but only expectations of supporting the cause. Around 6:15 we checked the winning numbers and realized we won the "Fire Basket." We got a Fire Department lanyard, mug, sticker, sweatshirt, and blanket. So cool!

Little did I know that just minutes before the drawing a fire ignited in the Queen Village section of Philadelphia. As our brave PFD responded to the call of duty, we continued the party in their honor, not knowing what was happening just a few neighborhoods away from where we stood. Sadly, one of our city's bravest lost his life that night. The news coverage has been emotional as our city comes together to honor this fallen hero. I didn't know Captain Michael Goodwin but the loss still hit me. I have friends in the department and I know how strong the bond of brotherhood can be. I feel sadness for their loss, for his family's loss, and for our city's loss.

I know I can't do much but I do think it's important that we honor his memory and support his family with our gratitude, love, and prayers. The Mayor has ordered all flags be flown at half-mast for the next 30 days. I don't have a flag to fly but my Facebook profile picture will remain the PFD mourning badge for these 30 days.  It isn't much but it's something. I will continue to keep his family, our PFD, and all of our emergency responders in my thoughts and prayers.

We can never forget or take for granted the service, sacrifice, and extraordinary responsibility that fall to our firefighters. And next time I drive by a firehouse and see the men all there, safe and sound, I'll say a little prayer of thanks to whomever is watching over them keeping them safe that day and always. I ask that you do the same...

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