God bless each of the young men who died while heroically fighting a wild-fire under the most extreme conditions.
Our son gave up a promising career in the world of finance to join a Hotshot team based in New Mexico. We weren’t sure what it entailed but we knew he loved the rigorous outdoor life of adventure. I read today that the Granite Mountain Hotshots were
“tough as nails but being NICE was a key requirement.”
We know he fits the job requirements. Every mother tries to instill the “nice” factor in her son. The tough as nails thing is not our doing. I would sleep better at night if my son was still behind a desk, but I am proud of him beyond measure.
“We believe in rigorous physical and mental training, which allows us to perform at the optimum level in any location and under any circumstances,” the Hotshots’ website said. “We are routinely exposed to extreme environmental conditions, long work hours, long travel hours and the most demanding of fireline tasks. Comforts such as beds, showers and hot meals are not always common.”
My heart aches for the families whose son, husband, or father died in the cruelest of environments. And now they must make peace with the fact that the men died heroically while doing what they loved. How do you thank 19 young men who gave up their lives in the line of duty? How do you console the family and friends whose agony you cannot begin to understand?
I will be spending more time in my garden this 4th of July grappling with these questions, while people everywhere are celebrating freedom and independence.
John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail:
The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.God rest their souls.