My Friends: Wednesday night I watched incredible video of the plant explosion in West, Texas like it was part of an action adventure movie, praying that everyone had evacuated and would emerge unscathed. When I learned that the firefighters were volunteers, I knew this is where I wanted our gift to go. I’ve lived in communities where the firefighters were volunteers. I’ve seen their spirit and their sacrifice. My home caught fire years ago. Volunteer firefighters literally came from everywhere to help. They were my teachers, friend’s parents, neighbors, businessmen, and students. They trained, bought their own equipment, and responded without fail to every fire and accident in our community leaving jobs, beds, family events, and dinner tables to do so.
The profiles of the firefighters in West, Texas were no different than those in my community years ago. Eleven volunteer first responders lost their lives in the explosion. Among them, young parents, two brothers, the City Secretary of West, a restaurant server, an engineer, the owner of the local welding company, an expectant father, an EMT, two young men studying to become EMS workers, and an off-duty Dallas firefighter who came to help when he heard the fire call. These were friends and neighbors who came and tried to help. All the fire-fighting equipment was lost to the explosion as well.
I donated our money to the West, TX Fund established by the NFFA (National Fallen Firefighters Association) to support families of the fallen firefighters and to purchase equipment to restore the West, TX Volunteer Fire Department. The volunteer firefighters of West, TX surely exemplify the sacrificial love and spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Lee W. TN