As wildfires rage through the Western Region of the U.S., we dedicate this post to recognize, honor, and thank all the firefighters and volunteers working tirelessly and selflessly.  Thank you to all the men and women in the fire departments across the nation for your heroism and service.

ODE TO OUR FIREMEN by Federic G. W. Fenn (1878)

All honor to the red-clad heroes; the boys who ran the machine
Over the highway to rescue, quick to danger’s scene;
Where angry flames devour the poor man’s earthly store,
Bidding to all a defiance, with its wild and sullen roar,
Tell me not of the gallants who wear the helmets bright,
Who boast of their deeds of slaughter in some degrading fight;
But should aloud the praises, and give the victor-crown
To our noble-hearted Firemen, who fear not danger’s frown.

They of many a conflict, with the haughty demon of flame,
With the rising sun of the morning, their gallant deeds proclaim.
The signal that strikes terror, to them is known full well;
Forth to do and dare they spring at the tap of the bell.

Someone’s home is falling in the midnight solemn hour;
Now the heroic legion spring forth to show their power.

Listen to the rumble, as they clatter over the way;
There’s hope in the sound as they speed on
In determined and gallant array.

Soon the fiery days will he over; the machine will be of the past,
And over the forms of our heroes the mantle of age will be cast,
And ere long they’ll tread to the portals, and view the setting sun,
Then fall; arrayed in the glories of the gallant deeds they’ve done.

Grand honor! to such brave brothers; let the shout sweep to the sky.

Weave garlands round their memories as the ages swiftly fly,
Over each Fireman’s hallowed grave write with honor’s pen:
Here lieth one who delighted to aid his fellow men.

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