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A Returning Survivor Perspective: 2014 National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend

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By Sharon Purdy

I wanted to share with all who attended the Memorial Weekend and also with those who held down the fort back home. We missed you all and carried your love to your firefighters.

This year I paid close attention to my surroundings so I could share it with you. We have all said that we have “signs” that remind us of our firefighters. Those little things that come to us that tell us that our firefighter is with us. There were things like seeing the hawk at the Memorial Service… butterflies, dragonflies, and coins of all types. Even those beautiful streaks in the sky left by planes. We hear songs on the radio… see a special number… read an ad in a magazine. There is usually one special thing that brings that pang to the heart when we see, smell, feel, taste or hear it. And it’s all good.

This year I saw so many subtle things and wanted to share. On my trip there, going through the mountains, the trees were beautiful. It was as if those live healthy trees were saying thank you. The sky was full of contrails on my trip to Maryland. Once again… a gentle nudge from the heavens.

The radio was full of songs of those who have left us and we remember. Amazing. Watching TV in the evening… sirens could be heard in the programs that were not fire service oriented.

Coins were shining on the markers and found on the ground by our survivors. I saw beautiful butterflies, dragonflies, and our bird soaring overhead during the memorial service. Bright beautiful sunshine was there when the Memorial Service began and then a gentle breeze moved the flags toward the end.

We were all there – all of us – some physically, some safe at home, and some still in our hearts. It was a good weekend… remembering… honoring and loving.

Lee A. Purdy

Wife of Lee A. Purdy
Spencerville Invincible Fire Company, Ohio (2000)