‘Tragic.” I tweeted earlier today that “tragic” is overused. However, what has happened in Fort McMurray and what is happening now (we pray for a rapid conclusion to the wildfire assault on the community) is indeed a “tragedy.”
The blessing is that to date no lives have been lost. The tragedy is so many have been disrupted and altered forever.
A fire which assaults your home and destroys not only the structure, but also claims the memories of a lifetime (and longer, including previous generations) is a horrific experience.
The fire we experienced in 2012, left the basic structure of the house standing, but the inside was either gutted or compromised beyond fundamental repair by smoke and water damage.
Even last week, as I was making the final preparations for my return to Ontario, I realised memories I wanted to accompany me were gone. The fire.
In the case of Fort Mac an entire community is traumatized. The impact of a community threatening-destroying fire is far greater than any individual such occurrence.
What must be added and thankfully is, in most cases, is recognition of the valiant nature of the men and women who fight fires. The firefighters, professional and volunteer, who put their own lives at risk in order to preserve what is most significant to you and me.
Firefighters belong to that special breed of people who put themselves in the line of greatest danger to selflessly serve those who need what only the men and women who live on the front line of danger, first responders, are able and willing to do. And that is to rush forward when every instinct associated with self-preservation demands you run the other way.
Thank you and God bless you.