Jo Walton (papersky) wrote,
Jo Walton

Yarnell Fire: Secular Humanist Comfort

There's a post on Making Light about the Yarnell fire in Arizona, in which nineteen firefighters died. And in the comments everyone's being very religious about it, and quoting the bible and invoking souls and flights of angels and... that's fine, for the people who believe that, but that's not everyone. I posted this there, and I'm putting it here in case I want to find it again.

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.
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