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home : opinions : opinions September 15, 2014

6/18/2014 6:30:00 AM
Life, heroism have no monetary limits
Prescott Valley Tribune

Some of the printed and spoken comments regarding the Granite Mountain Hotshots are disturbing. Specifically, for some time over the past 11 months and again as the one-year anniversary of the 19 men's deaths on June 30 approaches, people are leveling complaints that the widows and their families are getting too much attention and money.

These strong women kept the home fires burning while their husbands or loved ones were away. Some have children, others were pregnant.

The survivors have received donations, death benefits and pension payouts from the community, firefighters union, charities, the government, and beyond.

When hearing - rather, assuming - totals of payouts reaching into six figures, and even seven figures, some critics have called into question, "How much is enough?"

Simple math of each man's annual wage times the number of years he could continue to work produces numbers sometimes more than the payouts or death benefits - which does not include the "price" one could ever put on a life.

In the meantime, pundits are weighing in on whether the cemetery should have a dedicated "home" for these men's last resting place, complete with sitting wall and room for family members to be buried near their husbands/sons some day.

As we inch toward the one-year anniversary of their deaths, we ask the community to remember that losing a spouse or child in such a tragic way - whether one man or 19 of them - is no less a tragedy, regardless of their employment status, earning potential, or chosen path. They were men who were called to save a community from a fire, and they went.

We are not in a position to judge the men or the survivors, nor should we try.

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