Honoring the SFFD Fallen – A Tribute to a Young Man

This is why we do it. This little boy. If you haven’t seen this video on Facebook, take four and a half minutes to watch it. Like Happy said…if this doesn’t bring a tear to your eye, you’re a Cylon.

I first saw this posted on a friend’s Facebook page. He commented that he hoped the SFFD found this kid and made him an honorary firefighter. As you all know, I have a bit of an “in” there with my buddy, HM. We both posted comments on the YouTube video and I sent a message to the person that posted it in the hopes that we could find the young man and express our gratitude to him.

I was honored to get a response the very next morning:

Hello MC & Justin,

Thank you so much for your comments on my Youtube video of the SFFD funeral procession with the little boy & for reaching out to us. That is such a thoughtful and generous thing you would like to do but I have to tell you, his father (my husband) is a firefighter who was on a post that day and I am a police officer and the little boy is our son. We felt it would be a learning experience for him to be a part of the funeral and to understand what those men sacrificed for people they didn’t even know. We wanted him to pay his respects, to experience the brotherhood, love and support for those real life heroes and their families. He is six years old and aspires to be a firefighter, then he wants to be on “mom’s team” and aspires to be a police officer then a medic on the ambulance so he can save and help people. Of course, we would be thrilled and honored with either.

We were equally moved by the overwhelming number of firefighters who saluted and waved at our son as well as the family members of the fallen firefighters who opened their windows to smile and take a photo. To know for that moment they were able to divert their thoughts away from their grief and feel the love, support and admiration we all have for their loved ones, is why we were there. To honor and support the fallen firefighters, their families and extended families of first responders.

We thank you all for your dedicated service and for reaching out to us. Words cannot express our sympathies and sadness for the San Francisco Fire Department and the families of the fallen firefighters. Thank you ALL!!!!!

I wish more parents would instill this kind of behavior in their children.  I can honestly say that I hope my little ones grow up to be just like this young man.  I’ve joked in past postings about my mom claiming “good parenting” whenever I have done something positive.  Well, it is just as true with the parents of this young man.

Obviously, we needn’t be concerned about making him an honorary anything.  His loving parents have done more for him than any of us ever could.  We owe them a debt of gratitude.  At the risk of sounding egotistical, I think I’m a pretty damn good Dad…I think these parents are better and they have given me something to strive toward.

This video gives me hope for the future of this country.  Sometimes, I think it sad that it takes tragedy for the citizenry at large to show the level of respect and honor that this little boy showed.  Having watched the video and received the above email, I must say that I think he’s like that all. the. time.  We should all be inspired by him.

If you’re a police officer, thank the next medic you see.  If you’re a medic, thank the next beat cop you see.  If you’re a citizen, thank both of them.  Honor our first responders for the risks they take every day.  Honor them for what they are willing to do for you.  These men died doing what they felt called to do, what they believed in.  They were willing to risk their lives and ultimately gave them for a home.  Not a person.  A thing.  Because that thing represents something to someone.  That thing, that building, gave someone solace, protection, and peace.  It was a place to return to after the trials of the day and be with family.  These two men died to protect someone’s peace.

A final thank you again to the young man in this video.  I have high hopes for your life, son.  Thank you to his parents for not only instilling the kind of behavior in their son the rest of us should have, but for sharing such an intimate and special moment with the world.

God bless you.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. Snark is encouraged. Being a prat is not.

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6 thoughts on “Honoring the SFFD Fallen – A Tribute to a Young Man

  1. I’m an ED nurse who comes from a fine Irish line of firefighters and police officers. That little boy with his flag and his salute sums up how I feel about your service to my community, how much I value you watching over us, and how much I enjoy getting to work with you guys every day. What a privilege. Thank you.

  2. My God! The bit where two fireys salute him in unison at 1:46 has just reduced me to a blubbering wreck.

    A salute should also be given to the parents of this kid. From the video and the email he seems to have been given an amazing start in life. In my job as a paramedic I see so many kids and young adults who haven’t had such a great start, and seen the awfulness that can come from that. I have high hopes for this wee boy’s development with such fantastic parents behind him.

    Stay safe MC. Thank you to your and all your colleagues for keeping me safe in my job. Take care.