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by Michael Morse, contributing writer
I think of the people whose lives ended in a foreign land, or on our soil, far away from their childhood friends and families.
I think of their last moments, looking into the eyes of a person they may have known only a little while, but whose bond of service holds them tighter than the blood shared among relatives or the shared experience of lifelong friends.
Or if they died with eyes closed; life, then oblivion, with no time to reflect on what they have lost, what they have preserved or what they died fighting for, I think of them
Though they are faceless now, and without a voice, they have earned space in my mind, and heart and through my actions I believe that in some way, somehow through the collective consciousness that binds humanity I honor them and let them know that they did not die for nothing.
They died so that others may live, and live well, and by squeezing every bit of life that living sees fit to afford us, and finding joy where sorrow threatens to overcome; happiness in loss, and purpose in a sometimes-dreary existence they live on through our eyes; and can be heard in our voices, and though they sacrificed all, they will live forever in our actions.
Live well, be grateful, enjoy life and honor those who have fallen by embracing this life with them, for them and because of them.
Freedom isn’t free. We have to earn it.
Providence Firefighters monument in the North Burial Ground. The star with the flag at the bottom is a Grand Army of the Republic grave marker The GAR was the veterans organization for the Civil War Many PFD members were Civil War veterans.
Image by Eric Norberg
Michael Morse spent 23 years as a firefighter/EMT with the Providence Fire Department before retiring in 2013 as Captain, Rescue Co. 5. He is an author of several books, most offering fellow firefighter/EMTs and the general population alike a poignant glimpse into one person’s journey through life, work and hope for the future. He is a Warwick resident.
Love this Michael! And love your writing! I’ve missed it!
Mari ( GriefSpeak, RINewsToday)
“Live well, be grateful, enjoy life and honor those who have fallen by embracing this life with them, for them and because of them.”