Thursday, October 7, 2010

Tranquil Thursdays - Coronado Fire Department Open House

Fireman's Prayer

When I am called to duty, God
whenever flames may rage,
Give me the strength to save some life
Whatever be its age.

Help me to embrace a little child
Before it’s too late,
Or some older person
from the horror of that fate.

Enable me to be alert
And hear the weakest shout,
And quickly and efficiently
to put the fire out.

I want to fill my calling
and give the best in me,
To guard my neighbor
And protect his property.

And if according to Your will
I have to lose my life,
Please bless with Your protecting hand
My children and my wife
- A.W. Smokey Linn

Thank you for your service...



Jamie Edmonds said...

Thank you Denise for such beautiful and artistic shots! Thanks you too for giving proper attribution to the author of "The Fireman's Prayer". It has been "PC'd" up a bit in different versions one can find around, but it was written in the late 1950's and here's the back story:

Alvin William Linn earned the name “Smokey” when he was 15 by running into his grandfather’s burning barn and driving out his Model T truck. He and the truck made it out in one piece, but the seat of his pants were smoking. This must have been a sign of things to come, because it wasn’t the last time he would charge into a burning building.

"Smokey Linn was a member of the Greatest Generation. He served in the Coast Guard on a ship in the North Atlantic that was hit by a torpedo from a Japanese submarine. He was one of the few survivors. After he came home from serving in World War II, he got on with the Wichita Fire Department. Writing poetry was Smokey's outlet for dealing with the things he saw on the job. One particular late night call involved a building fully engulfed by flames and small children trapped inside. Due to the steel bars on the windows, they were not able to rescue the children. About one in the morning, he found himself sitting at the station’s kitchen table putting into words the emotions inside of him from that evening.

Smokey and his wife Maxine were young parents and had four children of their own. It hit a nerve with him that these children were the same age as his own. Maxine said that he was under so much stress that the poem was the result. It was always his wife that told the story behind the poem to their children and grand children, because he wouldn't talk about it.

These days “Fireman’s Prayer” is just thought of as a poem, nothing more. Simply stated, it was one man’s actual prayer to his God about his family as he reflected on the call he’d responded to one night. One can’t help but think, “what if that was my children in there?’ It was his gut reaction that was the inspiration for his written prayer. A.W. "Smokey" Linn retired in 1975 after 35 years of service. He passed away on March 31, 2004 and left behind a wife, three children, many grandchildren, great grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild. He was a husband, father, grandfather, and a son who knew how precious and short life can be. In his passing, he bequeathed to the world in words, what many firefighters have felt in their hearts."

You should all check out the display in the library for some more interesting history on the Coronado Fire Department and the Firefighters who have pledged to protect you (I'd love to find the true author of this one):

A Firefighter's Pledge:

I promise concern for others.
A willingness to help all those in need.

I promise courage - courage to face and conquer my fears.
Courage to share and endure the ordeal of those who need me.

I promise strength - strength of heart to bear whatever burdens might be placed upon me.
Strength of body to deliver to safety all those placed within my care.

I promise the wisdom to lead, the compassion to comfort, and the love to serve unselfishly whenever I am called.

-Author Unknown

"Omnes Domum Redeunt"

Denise said...

Thank you, Jamie, for sharing Smokey's story.

Carmen said...

What a wonderful tribute to our Coronado fire fighters. I'm grateful for our hometown heroes!

Sandra Younger said...

Great shots! Touching story!