The world is full of men, but what of men noble and true?
Can you say that you have known such a man?
These men are far too few.
But let me tell you a a story,
About a team of men
Who left behind a legacy
That will not be forgotten.
They passed every test,
Chosen to fight wild fires,
They were called the best.
One scorching June day in 2013,
When a wildfire raged
The Hotshots were called upon
To battle the fiery blaze.
Armed with tools and heavy gear,
They set out in their prime,
No job too hard for these men,
No hill too tall to climb.
Command was set, plans were made
To tackle the fire's wrath
But winds shifted unexpectedly
And they were trapped in the fire's path.
19 men were caught that day,
The fire drew quickly near
Though they knew they were truly trapped,
Not a one showed fear.
Dig your shelters, men came the command,
Each one knew what this meant
They dug with haste and with one final look
They took to their tents.
Then let us look away,
For we cannot bear
What came to each one next,
Each man endured in those fiery moments,
His final Hotshot test.
And when the aid finally found the men,
The blackened landscape bore
The testimony of death everywhere,
And the men who were no more.
Oh children, your father was so brave,
A man who did his best
In work excelled, he fought to save,
withstanding every test.
Dear widow, may you never shed
another tear at some unhappy strife
For you've suffered enough dread
The day your husband lost his life.
Young sweetheart, your hopes and dreams
Lay in ashes, from the fire's wrath
May you find hope and dream once more
Though sorrow has changed your path.
Sad mother, your beautiful son,
your joy and your pride
Whom you succored with patient love,
has bravely lived and bravely died.
Two prayers I pray for you, the first,
Though all hope now seem dim
May you have a hope in God,
And place your trust in Him.
Second, May something good,
Something beautiful and strong
Emerge from this tragic loss
From something that went so wrong.
Then like a Phoenix from the ashes
May these men and their noble deeds
Live, for love is stronger than death,
In the lives of those who who stop here to read.
Michelle Kendall & Family