By Shelby Woodall
This week, I’m not disputing any points of view. I’m not arguing with the actions of our government.
This may be an opinion column, but sometimes you just have to stop and be grateful. By “grateful,” I mean remembering true heroes and casting a bold “thank you” to our men and women of valor.
There are many uniforms in our country that deserve a salute. However, within the past couple of months, we not only tip our hats to America’s heroes, but we remove them to honor the valiant sacrifices made by our firefighters. These are the men and women who, when we cower in the face of danger, run straight into it. They fasten their belts and tighten their helmets no matter the cost. They look at a burning building and see it as an opportunity to save someone else’s life, even if it means giving themselves to the flame.
Sept. 11, 2001, set the scene for one of the most horrific events in American history. The things that occurred on this day left a scar on the beautiful face of America. One thought that could bring us bittersweet joy about that day was the bravery and valor our men and women in yellow put out for us. They cared so much that they ran straight into those towers without thinking about trying to get themselves out alive. Three-hundred forty-three firefighters didn’t return from the building that day. Is this not an action worthy of thankfulness? Within the past few weeks, heaven has welcomed 19 more angels. In Yarnell, Ariz,, the merciless flames claimed even more beloved lives.
The one thought that always makes me cringe when I think about these fallen heroes is, “What about their families?” Many of our firemen and women haves spouses and children that they left behind.
The thought of those broken families trying to pick up the pieces takes my breath away. Our hearts break for them. However, God has a reason, and they will only get stronger from this.
I am proud to say that I am the little sister to a hero in training. My older brother, Jerrod, has his sights set on becoming a firefighter. It is a terrifying thought for my family and me. However, we will be more than honored when he is officially clothed in the yellow stitches of valor. And if the day should ever come that we get a phone call about my brother, we will find comfort that he ran into those flames with selflessness and fell with honor.
Throughout these tragic events, we can find one self-evident truth. All firefighters give some, and some of them give all. We raise a grateful hand to salute you, American heroes.
Shelby Woodall is a student at Bryant High School. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org . Her column appears each Tuesday in The Saline Courier.View more articles in: