My Captain’s shift pulled duty today, July 4th, this year. Bummer, right?
Not so fast, there, Bucko.
Do you know what firemen often are asked to do on the Fourth of July? Can you say Parade?!
I’ve never experienced a parade from the inside out before, and My Captain’s shift graciously allowed me to tag along. I was determined to behave, and be cool.
Don’t say a word. Not. One. Word. As far as you know, I was totally cool, and wasn’t jumping up and down in my seat the whole time.
I was exposed to an interesting perspective of parades today, of how the firefighters feel when they are getting so much attention.
On the one hand, they appreciate the enormous gratitude people send their way.
And they can’t but help to love the exuberance of the children idolizing them.
But on the other hand, they are uncomfortable with all of that attention. They don’t do what they do to be idolized. They do it because it needs to be done.
But they understand the world loves a hero. Heck, the truth of the matter is that the world doesn’t just love heroes….it needs them. We need to know heroes are out there.
The guys on the shift understand this, so they go to the parades, with very little mumbling, and they wave to the nice people.
And today, as a bonus, after the parade, My Captain’s crew stopped by a local neighborhood that had asked if their kids could see the fire engine.
When we got there, Master Firefighter Mike (one of My Captain’s favorite drivers) hopped out and yanked open all of the compartments for the town’s folk to check out,
and then the hordes came.
My Captain was swarmed almost immediately.
And poor Adam! He manned the receiving end of the walk-through for the kids. It got to be comical.
My Captain would shake hands,
and Adam would receive a kid to put back down on the ground.
And then My Captain would shake some more hands (or high five them!),
And Adam would receive another kid to put down on the ground.
And My Captain would….
And Adam would….
My Captain…. (actually here he isn’t shaking hands. Here he is reassuring the little one that he wouldn’t put the loud, scary sirens on).
Meanwhile, Adam unloads another….you get the drift!
But the kids weren’t the only ones to swarm….the adults were full of questions too!
So My Captain listened and answered.
And after they did all of that, the town’s folk gave them flags!
Which was kind of unfortunate. There were already several boxes of doughnuts at the station…
In addition to homemade goodies as well.
And all of that sugar made them comatose in short order.
Who knew that being idolized could take so much out of a person? Who knew that the pressure of all that gratitude being thrown at them would bring them to their knees (or, er, butts, as the case may be…)
(And the REALLY sad thing here is that they were only able to rest for like 10 minutes before the next 911 call came!)
Well, regardless of the embarrassment for all the attention, these guys felt blessed. How could they not, with so much affection thrown at them from every generation?
And me? I was just happy as a little girl to ride in the back seat. I mean, a Cool girl. Not a giddy one jumping up and down on the seat with excitement. No, Sirree. Not me. I would NEVER do that!
Happy Independence Day, Friends!