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WHAT IS A FIREMAN?

He’s the guy next door - a man’s man with the memory of a little boy. He has never gotten over the excitement of engines and sirens and danger. He’s a guy like you and me with warts and worries and unfulfilled dreams. Yet he stands taller than most of us.
He’s a fireman. He puts it all on the line when the bell rings. A fireman is at once the most fortunate and the least fortunate of men. He’s a man who saves lives because he has seen too much death. He’s a gentle man because he has seen the awesome power of violence out of control.

He’s responsive to a child’s laughter because his arms have held too many small bodies that will never laugh again. He’s a man who appreciates the simple pleasures of life - hot coffee held in numb, unbending fingers - a warm bed for bone and muscle compelled beyond feeling - the camaraderie of brave men - the divine peace and selfless service of a job well done in the name of all men.

He doesn’t wear buttons or wave flags or shout obscenities. When he marches, it is to honor a fallen comrade. He doesn’t preach the brotherhood of man. He lives it.