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 smoke 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 is 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 is 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 comaraderie 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 does not preach the brotherhood of man.

He lives it.