A salute to BC heroes on BC Day
It’s been months since I blogged, yet I have lived these pages for so long that sitting here now, finally writing again, the words come easy and comforting at last…
It’s BC Day today. I woke up late after a difficult night trying to sleep ( back injury) and was drawn here so naturally this morning knowing I was finally ready. There are a multitude of reasons why I haven’t been blogging and I will specifically address this in a future blog. Today however, is all about this amazing province we call home, that we all love so dearly and is burning terribly in many parts.
Many will spend today – as you should – enjoying the great outdoors at a cabin or cottage, perhaps camping or even just in your own community. No matter where you live there is something unique and beautiful that should be celebrated.
However, many in BC will not be relaxing today and I want to send a special shout out to each of them. Because the biggest thing to celebrate in British Columbia are the unsung heroes who rarely get the recognition they deserve, and who are the backbone and heart beat of this province. What makes BC so special is not just the supernatural beauty… it is and always has been the people.
To the firefighters who have been on the front lines for over a month now… tired, hot, dirty, hurting and away from friends and family … we salute you. We honour your service and the time it takes from your family. We honour your skill and courage in the face of flames that don’t differentiate between fuel and firefighters. Thank you.
To the pilots gathering loads of water, dropping retardant to save homes and land, maneuvering through smoke and hills and unthinkable conditions that put your life at risk each and every time… we salute you. We honour your skill and love for what you do, and that you put yourselves at risk to keep BC safe.
To the support crews working long days and even longer nights, to keep firefighters on their feet, to the forest service workers, RCMP, local police, Canadian Forces and government information techs who share the latest info on social media to keep us all safe…. we salute you.
To the volunteers in communities across the interior and Cariboo, who have stepped up without hesitation, feeding, clothing and comforting evacuees’ by the thousands…. we salute you and your big hearts.
To the mayors and city officials who have slept little, worried much, shown leadership and gone so far above and beyond to keep your communities safe… we salute you. Thank you for your service in the face of tremendous adversity.
And to the thousands of British Columbian’s who, faced with a feeling of helplessness but wanting to do something to help those forced from their homes, contributed to local food banks, the Red Cross or other local orgs assisting the #bcwildfire efforts… we salute you too.
They say it is in times of crisis that we see what people are made of and indeed the ongoing wildfires have shown us the best and worst of human nature. Opportunists looting while strangers opened their doors to other strangers with grace.
As BC continues to battle these fires, I have no doubt that when a need arises, fellow British Columbian’s will rise to the task of providing whatever is needed… Quite simply, it’s what we do. It’s what all good humans do, wherever they are.
There are many other everyday heroes in BC, people who see a need and respond, without fanfare or photo ops or any desire or need for recognition. It would be truly impossible to name them all. However before I wrap this up, the ongoing fentanyl crisis and the efforts of Sarah Blyth and her crew come to mind. Faced with countless deaths on the streets of the DTES, they risked arrest to fill a need health authorities and political leaders could.. or would not. Day in, day out, bringing those others have forsaken back from the brink of death because every life matters.. Sarah, we salute you and the many who assist you. We honour your courage and compassion.
Over the years one common thread here among my posts has been the recognition that there is more that binds us, than tears us apart or divides us. And in times of crisis, British Columbian’s rise together to meet those challenges putting everything aside to deal with the issue at hand.
And that… is what makes BC strong. ❤
*** these are some of my recent pics over the BC Day long weekend showing how the smoke has been here in the Comox Valley at times. While the sun glows red in the evening, the smoke thickens so much within moments you can’t even see it set. It keeps the reality of how severe the wildfire conditions are in BC, top of mind.