Editorial: Resiliency will shine through

Oct. 03, 2013 @ 05:25 PM

Resilience is commonly found in many firefighters, those who will make daring rescues for us and risk their lives.

They are true heroes. There’s 81 of them being honored posthumously this weekend. And that’s important for a couple of reasons.

The weekend event is the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service. It’s been held annually for more than a quarter century in Emmitsburg, Md., the home of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial located on the National Emergency Training Center campus.

Being national, and since our government shut down this week, the training center closed. But before that happened, word was already out for the families of the 81 — and that includes 10 from North Carolina — the ceremony would be held with adjustments if needed.

There’s a candlelight service Saturday afternoon and a memorial service Sunday at alternate locations. The Red Helmet Ride will go on, as will a wreath-laying ceremony and special presentation with families of survivors.

Firefighters are a tough bunch. Heading to a scene, not knowing what danger may await, or what service may be given, provides an adrenalin rush unlike any other. They have unique skills, able to help us in ways we dare not dream.

They’ve trained, refined those skills and added more. They seek perfection in imperfect conditions.

There’s a bond among them, just as with most good teams no matter the occupation or endeavor. It is one we admire and respect.

Ronald Siarnicki is the executive director at the NFFF. And he made some great points in explaining the importance of the service.

“Our priority is to make sure the survivors receive the support, resources and respect they need and deserve,” he said. “All those who are helping understand that Memorial Weekend is an important step in a survivor’s journey. While our physical location may have to change, the foundation’s mission remains the same — helping the loved ones of the fallen along their path towards healing.”

Many throughout the country not making it to Maryland will honor the fallen by lowering flags.

Around the Tri-County, tell a firefighter how much they’re appreciated. We’re pretty sure their smile will speak volumes.