Posted by: al66888 | June 20, 2007

Must Read of the Day: A Prayer for the Families of the Fallen Firefighters

firefighter in cemetary 

To often the word ‘hero’ is thrown around.  So much so, that it loses its meaning.  In Charleston, SC yesterday, 9 brave firemen lost their lives when the roof collapsed on a burning building that they rushed inside to save those who were trapped.  If you would like to read the account, it can be read here.

The victims, their ages and their years of service are:

  • Capt. William “Billy” Hutchinson, 48 (30 years)
  • Capt. Mike Benke, 49 (29 years)
  • Capt. Louis Mulkey, 34 (11½ years)
  • Engineer Mark Kelsey, 40 (12½ years)
  • Engineer Bradford “Brad” Baity, 37 (9 years)
  • Assistant engineer Michael French, 27 (1½ years)
  • Firefighter James “Earl” Drayton, 56 (32 years)
  • Firefighter Brandon Thompson, 27 (4 years)
  • Firefighter Melven Champaign, 46 (2 years)

These brave men, risked, and ultimately gave their lives in service of others.  They were brothers, husbands, and fathers.   They were friends, family, and neighbors.  And while wearing these many hats, they were always selfless.

On this site we tend to look at the political issues and unfortunately the political issues tend to bring out the divide in us.   We need to be more like the first responders of the country- people who don’t look at a person for the sum of their parts, but look at that person solely as someone in need.  It wouldn’t matter if it was a gay, white, republican, catholic male or a married, black, christian, democratic female.   They are blind- color blind, race blind, sex blind. They put the safety of a stranger ahead of their own personal safety.

And there in lies the problem, we are constantly looking at our differences, what separates us.  We are always hearing about ‘diversity’ training, but yet I’ve never heard of ‘unity’ training.  We should take a lesson, and let not these lives be given without change.  We need to work together…..and not just in times of tragedy. 

May God bless the family and friends of these fallen heroes, and let us all keep them in our thoughts and prayers. 



  1. this is a fantastic piece. i am moved by it. my heart goes out to the families of all the victims during this time. wouldn’t this world be a better place if we could all remain ‘blind’ to the things that divide us?

  2. Great article my friend… I was stationed in Charleston for six years, a great place with great people. These brave firefighters encompasses the true meaning of the word hero… Our Military and First Responders are the most selfless people around and I am proud to call them a hero. This is obviously tragic and shocking to their families, but I hope the children of these great men will be able to someday celebrate the fact that their Dads demonstrated true American characteristics and heroism…

  3. Today was the long procession for these fallen heroes, its sad to see

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