This post will be a little different than my usual discourse. Yesterday, two Boston firefighters died in the line of duty while fighting a fire in a building on Beacon Street.

The firefighters killed were identified as Lt. Edward J. Walsh, 43, of West Roxbury — a father of three — and Firefighter Michael R. Kennedy, 33, of Hyde Park, a U.S. Marine veteran who was single. – Boston Herald

I was a firefighter for over twenty years, although not on a full time basis like these two. I know what it is like to be in a burning building, the heat, the smoke, the confusion. These two heroes (and hero is not a word I use very often) like every other firefighter, whether full-time, part-time or volunteer, did what we all do. They ran into a burning building to save lives. The same building others were running out of.

This is a heck of a way to die, and anyone in the business knows it could happen, and it would be very painful. Yet, it wouldn’t stop us, and even now it won’t stop any firefighter from doing the same thing. I ask everyone to pray for these firefighters, their families and firefighters everywhere. Most of the time no one gives a thought to them, they only see them hanging around the firehouse, not doing anything. But remember, they are the first ones to respond, at any time of the day or night.

Here is what is known as the “Firefighter’s Prayer

When I am called to duty, God,
wherever flames may rage,
give me strength to save a life,
whatever be its age.
Help me embrace a little child
before it is too late,
or save an older person from
the horror of that fate.
Enable me to be alert,
and hear the weakest shout,
quickly and efficiently
to put the fire out.
I want to fill my calling,
to give the best in me,
to guard my friend and neighbor,
and protect his property.
And if according to Your will
I must answer death’s call,
bless with your protecting hand,
my family one and all.

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