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Summit Up

We know you all will take this the wrong way, but we’re going to say it anyway.

“Walker Ranch Fire, summer 2001, 20,000 acres burned, 35 structures lost, 150 firefighters employed” … so read a shirt we recently happened across on the body of a Boulder firefighter. On it, along with the preceding words and numbers, was a picture of a twisting forest fire, a firefighting helicopter and the hazy, heroic stare of two firefighters who had spent days on the front-line.

This is no slight on the men and women who risk their lives to protect us from a clear and present danger. But this shirt glorifying the fire and the job of fighting it rubbed us the wrong way. People lost their homes, and these firefighters walk around town with a T-shirt of the event, like it was a concert or something.

We’re sure fighting forest fires is a tremendous experience. Living in camps, eating and working together, being depended on by a community S it must be a life-alteringly positive few weeks for the firefighters.

But for the victims, it can be horrifying. And to tromp around town wearing a shirt reminding everybody about a natural disaster is too self-aggrandizing for us. You’ll never see FEMA personnel walking around Miami wearing this shirt: “Hurricane Andrew, summer 1992 – 25,000 homes lost, 75,000 lives destroyed.”


You do your job, accept the deserved praise and support, and go home with the satisfaction of an important job well-done.

Sorry, had to get that off our chest. Enjoy your Sunday and thank your local firefighter for a summer’s worth of hard work.

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