Lt. Jason Menard, a Worcester fire lieutenant, died last week in a third-floor house fire after saving two of his colleagues from a tragic death. He was supposed to leave for Disney World with his wife and three kids the next morning.
My family and I were around the dinner table when this heartbreaking story came on the news. “A 39-year-old firefighter died late last night,” a news reporter announced as I took a spoonful of my soup. I quickly stopped, my face drooping as I watched the story unfold. I thought to myself, how could that be? I looked across the table at my mom. “I can’t even begin to imagine what the family is experiencing,” I said.
Unfortunately, these kinds of tragic stories hit the news quite often, but this one affected me differently. After we finished dinner, I went to my room and put on my pajamas, but I couldn’t get Lt. Menard and his family off my mind. He had so much life to live, yet his life ended so suddenly.
With Thanksgiving and the holidays approaching, I think it’s important that we take a moment to recognize those who risk their lives to save ours. Firefighters like Lt. Menard serve our communities daily, but we seldom take the time to show our appreciation. Menard’s family and friends will have to spend their holidays, a time usually spent with loved ones, without their beloved friend, husband, son and father. I can’t even begin to imagine what this mourning family is feeling, but my heart goes out to all the families who’ve endured similar situations.
All I ask is that, especially during the holiday season, we all say a special thank you to everyone who serves our community and that we keep in mind those who have lost their loved ones. This time of year can be especially hard for some families, so it’s important that we appreciate those around us.
I want to say a big thank you to the fire department, police department, our local EMTs and those in the military who care so deeply about their communities. Thank you for putting your lives on the line to protect us. We know that you work ungodly hours, get interrupted during dinners, family outings and sleep. We know, as a community, that we can count on you to help us at any given moment, and we couldn’t be more grateful for that.
Opinion articles written by staff members represent their personal views. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent WSPN as a publication.