Kim just did a post about the good bit in the fire crisis. When there's nothing standing between us and the inferno of nature, it's good to know that people really feel connected. It's hard to remember, in ordinary life, that in the end the only thing we have to rely on is each other.
But even more than the money and goods people donate (which is amazing in itself - $28.5 milloin to the red cross so far!), the institution which gives me the greatest sense of admiration for the human race is the firies. Whether they are paid or volunteer, whether in uniform or not, these people stand beside, and often in front, of those with the most to lose. They put themselves at tremendous risk, all too often they pay the ultimate price in the line of duty. Many let their own homes burn while they went to save the homes of others and help people out run the hot breath of death.
And they never give up, even when it is hopeless.
I've had the tremendous good fortune to work with a couple of firies in a previous job and they were as solid and reliable in good times as bad. They were great mates, good fun and bloody good at their jobs. I always had the utmost respect for them, and now that I am openning the news daily to stories of incredible sadness and destruction there remains threaded through it this wonderful glowing hope of what humans can accomplish when they stand united.
So you know, thanks. The only thing I can give you is gratitude, and I hope a sense of satisfaction in a job well done and so so much appreciated.
If you'd like to say thanks to the firies, head over to the firefighters union and leave a message of thanks. Let these people know that what they do counts, and that we all know it.