Combat veterans know what it is to serve outside the wire—beyond what’s safe. So do our nation’s firefighters, swift-boat rescue teams, paramedics and other first responders.
This year alone, these selfless men and women have banded together to form a “thin red line” of protection between American communities and everything from West Coast wildfires to East Coast hurricanes. Explosions, fires, floods, smoke, spills, crashes, heart attacks: against deadly odds, again and again they put their lives on that thin red line to rescue people, pets and property.
Sometimes, they don’t make it back across that line to safety.
That fact was on my mind during the recent fire in our Flags of Valor workshop. The blaze could have threatened the whole building, but our local Loudoun County Fire and Rescue responded fast. Thank God no one was hurt that day, and the damage to our workshop wasn’t crippling. But without the firefighters’ courage and skill, Flags of Valor and the other businesses sharing our building could have lost everything.
As Americans, we owe these protectors a debt of gratitude for all they do, and all they stand ready to do at a moment’s notice. Flags of Valor’s Thin Red Line flag honors them, and especially those firefighters and other first responders who have been injured or lost their lives in the line of duty.
Looking at the blackened ends of the lumber saved from our workshop fire, I’m grateful for these men and women who stand ready, at a moments notice, to put their lives on hold in service of others.