My husband and I watched the movie Blood Diamond last night. Very disturbing. If there could be something more upsetting than watching innocent African people slain in their homes and villages, it was the kidnapping and recruiting of young boys to be brought into the rebel militia. Now this was horrifying to me--that people would claim young spirits for themselves, teaching them to kill, brainwashing them into doing evil acts. One of many important concepts discussed in the movie was this: Are people inherently good or inherently bad? One character suggested that people are just people; that it's the choices we make, the things that we do, that make us good or bad.
In my town, we've had scandals in the news lately about some businessmen who've been accused of going astray, breaking the law. Seems it's been day after day of watching the news, reading it, and only seeing bad things happen, watching people self-destruct, bringing shame to those around them. But this week, something else hit the front pages, something truly hard to wrap your brain around. There was a fire at a local furniture store warehouse, and nine of our Charleston firefighters lost their lives on Monday.
Today has been declared a day of mourning in our city. A slow procession of fire engines and motorcycles made its way through town to the Coliseum where thousands of people from all over the country have come to pay their respects at a memorial service. I am saddened when I think of the families these men left behind and their fellow firefighters, the ones who became their second families at the fire stations. But in this day of mourning, after being reminded of all the corruption and evil that takes place all over the world--in far away countries or in our own back yards--celebrating the lives of these nine brave men gives me hope: hope that perhaps there is goodness in the world--in people--afterall. There exists true bravery. There exists Valor. These men died doing what they loved to do--fight fires and save people and property. Our city and our world is missing nine heroes today, but these men give us all the hope that there are more like them. Real people. Regular people. Doing extraordinary things.
My prayers go out to the families of the nine firefighters who lost their lives in Charleston this week. My continued prayers and blessings go to all of our firefighters who clean their trucks and wait on shifts...waiting for the day when they can save a life. Selflessly choosing to do what is noble and good. They are what is right in this world. God bless them.