On Christmas Eve last year, just right around the corner from our home, a nightmare unfolded. A man killed his own sister, then set his car on fire to lure first responders to the scene. When they arrived (out of a selfless sense of duty and service to this community), the man began shooting at them. Some were killed, some injured. You can read the full USA Today article here: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/12/24/webster-new-york-firefighter-shot/1788917/
Because first responders were being shot at, firefighters were unable to control the fire, and it quickly spread. By Christmas morning, seven homes had been completely consumed, and children woke up to gifts under the tree from a father who was gone forever.
We brought cookies to our local fire department. Our fire department is one of the few that is 100% volunteers. Those guys were there that morning and for the following days working alongside the guys from the West Webster Fire Department who had lost some of their beloved brothers.
There was a huge outpouring of support through the holidays, but I know all too well how that support dwindles over time and regular life starts back up for people. This was our way of remembering and honoring those who go in, when everyone else is going out.