Firemen Stanley Marks, Alex Latyshev, and George Reynolds were trapped by flames on the second floor of the building, and while Reynolds was able to escape with his life, Marks and Latyshev tragically succumbed to their injuries.
Firemen are living, breathing superheroes that we too often take for granted. Along with police officers, firemen act as human shields for us, the first line of defense against threats to our safety. When a fire breaks out, the natural inclination is to run in the opposite direction. Not so for our brave firemen. They suit up, hop in a truck, and run directly into fiery infernos, their only goal being to save the lives of any unfortunate souls trapped in the structure. In doing so, they and their families are making a tremendous sacrifice – literally relinquishing their right to personal safety for the cause of the common good.
It is too easy for us to take them for granted, and so we do. We know that when danger arises, we call 9-1-1 and policemen, firemen, or EMT’s will show up within minutes. It’s so commonplace, we simply give it no thought. But we should.
When we see a fireman, we should thank them. When we encounter a police officer, even if that encounter is because of a traffic stop, show them your appreciation. These are people who don’t get rich from their jobs – rather, they chose their profession to keep YOU safe.
The deaths of Marks and Latyshev should not be in vain. At the very least, it should be a reminder of the personal and familial sacrifices these heroes make, not for them, but for us.