People in Colorado have a unique appreciation for firefighters, those people who head towards danger when the rest of us are running away, and the past week is no exception. In fact, in a unique show of appreciation, the residents of Black Forest and surrounding areas turned out at each shift change to thank their firefighters and cheer them on.
It was captured really well in this video from YouTube:
This sort of community spirit is key to helping people survive and thrive after a disaster of this sort. It’s been hard, I’m sure unspeakably hard for those in the midst of it, but people are banding together and focusing on caring for the folks that need it.
It’s heart-warming and speaks to the best in people, who step forward to help when things are bad. To those hundreds of volunteers who got in their cars to show up at animal shelters and scoop manure, clean crates and hug scared kitties. To those people who donated so many goods to help the firefighters that someone said the high school being used as an operations center looked like Wal-Mart. To those who continue to donate to the Red Cross, Care and Share Food Pantry, and the Humane Society, which is facing the daunting task of matching hundreds of rescued animals back to their owners.
I was talking with a former colleague the other day and she asked me about the fire. I gave her the regular update (# of homes lost, # of acres, % containment) and then mentioned how amazed I was by the spirit of the people in Colorado who are rising to the challenge and helping the evacuees, both people and animals. Her response was interesting. She said, “Yes, I know what you mean. After all, I’m from Boston and it is amazing to see people come together to support the bombing victims. We’re still raising funds to help them.”
So, here’s to the human spirit, to the desire to help, and most especially to those who rise up and act on those desires. And of course, to those amazing men and women who run towards danger when the rest of us are trying to flee. Where would we be without them?