Friday, December 12, 2014

Hail to A Hero

Much ink has been spilled - and too much goddamned blood as well - in these United States lately by people on both sides of the issue of race.  While it may be a dangerous position for one who earns his living with his mouth to point out that far too many people in these United States these days earn our daily wage by talking as opposed to by doing, I shall say so anyway.  And few issues bring the talking heads out in force with quite as much vitriol as race does.  There is no button quite like a hot button. 

You know what matters immeasurably more than the color of one's skin?  The content of one's character.  

Joyce Craig-Lewis, thirty-six years young, was a member of the City of Philadelphia Fire Department for eleven years.  At her request, she was transferred to Engine 64 in Lawncrest, one of the city's most active fire stations.  

On Tuesday, FF Craig-Lewis became the first female firefighter in the history of the Philadelphia Fire Department to die in the line of duty.  She was trapped inside of a row house in the city's West Oak Lane section while fighting a fire as part of a three-member hose crew.  It was approximately 3:00 am.  

FF Craig-Lewis had recently returned to work from maternity leave.  The thirty-six-year-old was the mother of two - 16 year-old Mehki Donte Green and 16 month-old Laylani Lewis.  On the morning on which she was killed, she was doing something that she had a long, distinguished career of doing, which was working overtime.  A member of Engine 64, she was working with Engine 73 battling the West Oak Lane fire when she died.  

On Saturday morning, FF Craig-Lewis shall be laid to rest.  Her family shall be joined in mourning her loss by her brothers and sisters of the Philadelphia Fire Department with whom they shared her for these past eleven years and with whom they shall now share her memory forever.  

Joyce Craig-Lewis died as she lived - selflessly and heroically.   Her contributions to the City of Philadelphia and its residents whom she served and protected shall long be remembered.  She shall be missed by those who loved her and those who she loved even longer still.  


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