A year ago I wrote an article titled “A December to Remember” to remind us of our obligation to be better story tellers, for prosperity’s sake — and for safety’s sake. Earlier today, Chicago and the rest of the fire service buried the first of two firefighters killed in the line of duty on the 100th anniversary of the Chicago Stockyard Fire that killed 21 firefighters.
Given recent events and all the heartache they’ve brought, I’m not sure that December is a month to remember but instead, it’s one we’d like to forget.
Last night I had the privilege of joining some 50 firefighters and civilians as they stood in the cold at the corner of Grosvenor and North Division Streets in the City of Buffalo to remember an event that claimed the lives of five of Buffalo’s bravest. Surrounded by those drawn to the small memorial erected at the site, Division Chief Don McFeeley stood in the center of the intersection and retold the story of that fateful night when a propane tank exploded inside a warehouse — shattering windows, throwing debris and burning buildings across twelve city blocks. (more…)