And if death is the end, if death is all;
If there's no God, no angels, and no souls,
Then still they died fulfilling human goals
Striving to help and answering the call.
Wanting to live, but knowing they could die,
They fought the fire, and saved all that they might,
The lives of friends, or strangers, as is right,
And died as heroes, here beneath the sky.
Nineteen of them, all different, all unique,
Making their human choice, to help, to stay,
For different human reasons, they came through
Were there where they were needed, were not weak,
But did the work required of them this day,
And died as well as people ever do.