As is too often the case, it has taken a tragedy to remind us that heroes are not comic book or movie characters. They do not seek or bask in any spotlight.
They seek only to help others. To them, it is not a job. It is their life's passion.
Heroism is not a physical gift. It is an all-too-rare psychological strength – the ability to recognize when others are in danger and confront that danger head-on. Most of us flee danger. Heroes face it with calm and poise, all in the name of holding suffering and sadness at bay.
They do not need to be told that others need help. It is their instinct. And when the work is done and the danger has passed, the heroes retreat quietly, knowing full well that danger will emerge in another form or fashion within hours or even minutes.
Drew Solomon is a hero. We will not use “was” because the man will not soon be forgotten.
Solomon died last weekend, not heroically battling an inferno, but heroically, battling the cruelest disease ... cancer.
If you’ve met a firefighter, you know that a passion for the vocation is woven through the fabric of their being. They love their comrades. They love the equipment. They love life at the station. They love being on the job. The members of the Millington Fire District No. 5, like their counterparts around the world, did not become firefighters on a whim. Nor do they often leave the service to find “more rewarding work.”
Drew Solomon will always be a member of Millington Fire District No. 5 and we thank him for his service to this community. He will always be a firefighter.
May he always inspire others to be heroes.