Monday, April 07, 2008

Tears and Laughter

Batavia and the Maupin family lost Matt to the GWOT four years ago. He's been found, and will be brought home and laid to rest soon. As you probably know, I've met the Maupin's on a few occassions since Matt's disappearance. They won't remember me- they've probably met hundreds of thousands of people since Matt disappeared, but the impression they left on me will never leave. They never gave up. Never. Never stopped sending packages with Matt's picture in them; never stopped contacting the Army and the President for updates on the search; never stopped praying. Simply put... they never stopped. Perhaps after Matt is laid to rest, they can at least pause and reflect on the tremendous impact they and their son have had on the lives of so many- myself included.

Colerain Township lost two firefighters over the weekend. Captain Robin Broxterman and Firefighter Brian Schira entered a burning house on Friday, starting the assault on the fire. One other firefighter accompanied them. Although they entered from the first floor, the two were later found in the basement, covered in rubble; their unmanned firehose on the first floor above them. Broxterman leaves behind two young children, and a fiance, who, ironically, is a firefighter who also responded to the scene of the fire which took Robin's life. Schira, 29, was unmarried, without children, but with a family full of pride and grief. Ironically, the son of the last Colerain Township firefighter killed in the line of duty was also at Friday's fire. Since 1990, 2,248 firefighters have been killed in the line of duty, including 64 females.

The sadness and grief in Cincinnati continues. Please keep the Maupin, Broxterman, and Schira families, as well as their respective service units, in your thoughts and prayers. I plan on attending Maupin's public service, and Broxterman and Schira's too- I owe them so much more than my thanks and admiration after death, but that is all I have to offer. Events like this remind me that we do not offer our thanks to our public servants often enough, nor are they paid enough to give up their lives in such violent ways.

In this world of death, and loss... I thought we could all use something light-hearted and fun.
I present to you... the Dancing Wild Bears


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