OPINION: Thank you to our humble heroes
WHEN I sat down to write my column I wondered how could I possibly do justice to the events that have transpired over the past week and a bit?
But then I read a post from a local rural firey that brought many tears to my eyes and put it all in perspective.
He wrote "Firefighters are not heroes and mostly, they are not braver than anyone else. They are just people”.
I had to read it twice to make sure I wasn't missing something. While the message is true, I have to disagree.
The men and women who pull on the yellow, green or orange may be "just people” but, time and time again, they save lives and properties, and in doing so they leave behind their families, jobs and businesses to help complete strangers.
This may well be compassion or the very best of human spirit but, whatever the reason, these men and woman are our heroes and they and their families should wear that badge with honour.
Last Saturday morning I spoke to a few of these men and women. The fatigue was so apparent on their faces and yet here they were, after a night of loss and uncertainty, lining up to go back into the firing line. I couldn't help thinking they all looked like battle worn soldiers who were awaiting marching orders for their next mission.
Not one of these men and woman were pounding their chests - in fact the complete opposite.
They were praising the person next to them; the one who had just driven 10 hours from Sydney only to find his home saved, but his sheds and decks etc all gone and then proceeded to get into his uniform and walk into the flames that had taken so much from him; the person who had been so busy fighting a fire over the border and quickly flew home to Stanthorpe to protect their home town; the person who ran to their parents' house to find the fire on the roof and fought to save their childhood home and then turned to help the surrounding neighbours; the person who had to take a call from someone to let them know they had lost their house, while knowing that their own house had just been saved.
To all these men and women, you are our heroes.
The Granite Belt owes you a debt of gratitude and it is one that, I believe, can never be repaid. I know that you don't volunteer for recognition, but you deserve every accolade possible.
Thank you might be one of the most undervalued words in our vocabulary and is often said without true conviction, but from the bottom of our hearts, thank you.