There are so many images of the Fort McMurray fire that it has become a slide show in my mind. Like all slide shows not all the images will stay in my mind, but many will.
The fire itself, the massive size and power of it is unforgettable.
The firefighters who stand and fight that monster. They say that they are just doing the job that they have been trained to do. Maybe so, but it takes a special kind of person to do that job.
The RCMP officer standing in the intersection directing traffic. She must have smelled the smoke, seen the flames, and felt the heat, but she calmly stood and kept the traffic moving as smoothly as possible so that the people could get out safely.
She is another person who will say she was just doing her job.
The quick thinking people who realized that there would be people running out of gas and getting stranded on the highway, they filled their trucks with gas, water and some food and raced to help the stranded get moving again.
The airport hangar that was filled with donated supplies within two days. That meant that thousands of people had gone out and bought whatever they could to help the evacuees.
The hundreds of volunteers, who sorted those supplies and helped in all the evacuation centers, doing whatever they could to help.
Everyone in the country wanted to help, even a five year old boy in Ontario.
Then there are the pictures that tell the personal story of someone.
The picture of the mom and new baby. She had been in labour for the whole evacuation and by some miracle was able to reach medical help in time.
The man whose link to his home security allowed him to watch his house burn. He said that his wife had been unable to watch the complete video. I don’t think I could watch it either.
The young girl getting her horses to safety by riding one and leading the others. She must have been terrified, but her love for her horses was greater than her fear.
The woman who smashed windows and doors to get into houses and rescue pets. She knew the people in that neighbourhood were not allowed back in so she delayed her own exit to get as many pets as her vehicle would hold.
These are some of the images that I will remember in the years to come. What I will remember most cannot be seen, it can only be felt in the heart. What I will remember forever is the inspirational strength and courage of the people of Fort McMurray.
God Bless you all.