06/19/07 135 W - + 13 - 9 Tragedy

What is the appropriate response to tragedy? Don't know. Maybe can't know. People, personalities, and emotions are just too different. Sure, we probably-- hopefully-- know what is considered GROSSLY inappropriate. For the more regular range of responses, though, there are probably opinions on which is proper versus improper. Such as...

Private mourning, or
Respectful silence, or
Public tribute, or
Vocal outrage, or
Active inquest, or
Immediate analysis, or...

Which is better, which is best? Don't know, and don't want the role of determining same. Playing Ms. Manners is a tricky business that's better left to others.

Tragedy is tough, and everyone reacts in their own way. Give each other a break, if a difference presents itself. It's ultimately all derived from the same terrible things we're feeling, about the same terrible things that happened.

Excellent points.. thanks for making us think, and hopefully we can accept each other’s response to tragedy more easily.
Luke - 06/19/07 - 12:41

Mike, you are exactly right! We all deal with tragedy in our own ways. Traditionally however, in the fire service I think we often deal with tragedy by putting it behind us; not putting a name or face with the said tragedy and going about our daily routine. After all, if we put a name and face to every code or every suicide victim or every victim shot on the streets we would never make it in this business.

However, when the tragedy is our own we can not just put it behind us! No, we cant let it keep us from doing our jobs but we can not forget either! I heard about this tragedy this morning when I left work at Raleigh and was on the way to work at Falls. My girlfriend called me and told me what she had heard on the news. I was speechless. When I got to work I got online and watched news footage. I watched the clip of our brothers and sisters carrying out 9 of their own and thats what hit me. I’m sure when those 9 men went to work on Monday morning they were thinking the same things I was and you all do. What are we going to eat today, how can I mess with the new boy today, I cant wait to go to the lake over 4 day. We never think or want to think that tragedy is going to hit US!

As I went about my day today we did our normal fire station activities, we talked about it a little and we watched the news coverage a few times. Whether we admit it or not we’ve tried to put it behind us. I think now maybe we shouldn’t! Maybe we should take the time to mourn. Maybe we should reflect on the children that are going to bed tonight without their daddy! Maybe we should try to imagine the pain of driving back to the firehouse with less than what you left it with! I hope that none of us EVER have to know what that is like but I hope we also realize that yes it can happen here in little old Wake County!

In the months ahead I’m sure that lessons will be learned from this tragedy but I urge you all to take the time now to truly reflect on what it means to lay you’re life down and mourn for these men, their families and the brothers and sisters who are living this nightmare. Swallow you’re manliness and talk about it with your co workers. Officers, talk about it with your personnel. THESE ARE OUR BROTHERS!

Please stay safe!
[nrhodes] - 06/19/07 - 23:24

Very well said Nick.
HUBBELL - 06/20/07 - 12:10

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