Friday, June 10, 2011

Paying Respect

Today I witnessed something truly remarkable. June 2, two fire fighters were killed fighting a house fire not far from my house in San Francisco. Today marked their funerals and the subsequent procession to their burial**. The procession just happened to go by a block away from our home. 

After seeing a number of other people camped out on the side of the street I packed up the pomeranians and walked down to observe. 

Wow. It was a truly unbelievable experience. There were about 150 or 200 fire engines that were a part of the processional that lasted about 30 minutes. The engines were from all over the state. A few of the cities I saw represented were Santa Barbara, Napa, Monterey, Chico, and of course many SF engines. 

It was a very odd thing to witness though, I must admit. It felt a little strange standing on the side of the street, watching people with American flags in hand, observing a funeral procession go by. Yet it also felt very right to be there and we were thanked by many of the firefighters that drove past. I guess it felt like I was crashing a very personal moment for these men yet was also paying my respect to the men and women who serve our city day in and day out. 

It was also a little more touching because just last week a co-worker's husband (a firefighter) came to our little firehouse (aka, my work) to talk to us about his work and firefighting in general. It was only a few short days after his comrades had passed and it was definitely a fresh wound for both him and his wife. After hearing about his work and the things he experienced it definitely brought a whole new respect for what these men and women do for us. 

So, thank you to all the firefighters out there for running head on into danger to keep us safe. It never would have occurred to me to search out this procession but I am very thankful it happened into my life this afternoon. 
The engine carrying one of the fallen men.
If you would like to read more about the men and the procession, click here

**San Francisco does not have graveyards. There are only two exceptions (that I know of): 1. The Presidio where military are buried, 2. The Columbarium which isn't a graveyard but an actual building. As a result, most people are laid to rest just south of the city in Serramonte/Colma which is where the procession was going today.

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