Bla Bla Bla. Parroting Sucks. Our Brothers Deserve Much Better.

Note- Not one “I”, “me”, “my”, “we”, “what I did’s” in this article.



Parroting is easy.


Thoughts and prayers and climbing stairs is simply not enough,

Less of “me” and more of “thee” is what separates the weak from the tough.

Become a hollow mouthpiece, get the sticker, t-shirt, and tattoo if you must,

But me?  I’ll make sure the brave 343 won’t be shaking their heads in disgust.


Is anyone else sick of reading all the repulsive crap regarding Never Forget?  People calling attention to themselves with helmet stickers, t-shirts, tattoos, blogs, facebook posts, me, my, we, etc.  It’s a revolting “tribute” to themselves- and most certainly not what the 343 deserve. 

Of all the hundreds of “tributes” of walking billboards and parroting of phrases posted yesterday, only one (ONE) seemed to go beyond and describe how a change in our everyday behavior truly demonstrates an understanding of “Brotherhood”, and of “Never Forgetting.” 

Read yesterday’s “A Firefighters Own Worst Enemy” article entitled “Remembering With Our Actions” from a good friend, DC Jason Hoevelman.  Jason’s words on the way to truly “never forget” were the ONLY ones worth their salt while swimming through the putrid soup yesterday:


Don’t just call each other Brother, act like one every day.

Be physically and mentally fit

Be engaged everyday in our profession, don’t just act proud, show your pride by engaging

Learn something about our profession every day no matter how small or large the task

Pass on the lessons of those that taught us, share and give much to those who come after you

Stand up for what is right even when it goes against what’s “popular”

Be excellent at whatever you do; not all firefighters will be officers, but whatever you aspire to, be the best at it–everyday!

Encourage and teach those younger than you, don’t degrade them-they are our future

Be involved–see a problem, be a part of the solution

Leave our fire service better than it was when you entered it


Now go be a Brother- and never forget.





  • Hbbortiz says:

    I think every one remembers in there own way. I don’t think anyone who wrote a blog,got a tattoo, or climbed stairs did any of that for themselves. I can only speak for me (oh gosh did I use two bad words by saying I or me) when I climbed those stairs I was thinking of nothing but the sacrifice the 343 made and how this little sacrifice pales in comparison to them and there heroic efforts.

    Perhaps instead of claiming to know what others are thinking, you should practice being a good brother and take these tributes at face value.

    • Fire Daily says:

      Exactly.† Putting into practice being a good brother
      (as I have for almost 35 years) goes well beyond the superficial and sarcastic
      reply you decided to submit, in the spirit of Brotherhood.†

      Did you climb stairs?† Excellent.† I am proud of your tribute.† Don’t get defensive.†

      Rather, channel your sarcasm to commit to do more of the things reiterated in the article, and understand that “Brotherhood” is much more of a verb than a noun.† In other words, donít talk to me about brotherhood,
      GO FURTHER and show your brothers so the 343 get much more of a tribute from one of their own.

      They deserve that, my brother.

  • Kind of sanctimonious.† Actually, no, it was blatantly sanctimonious. While I agree with some of your position, attacking the methodology by which others choose to honor the fallen shows a lack of respect.

    Nobody climbed stairs, got a tattoo, put a sticker on their car or wrote a post with bad intentions. Nobody asked you to do the same and you can always click off of whatever site you find putrid.

    This isn’t a matter of being defensive, this is your column, you can write what you want. We can support what what we agree with and call you out on what we don’t.


    • John Mitchell says:

      Thanks for your comments.† Unfortunately, you missed the message, my friend.† Bad intentions?† Of course not.† Superficial intentions?† I can point to several examples of just that which is beneath the reverence we owe those who have gone before us.† The attack was not on the methodology used, it was on the lack of pursuing their “committment” further along than the superficial spittle that anyone could have parroted.† I then listed Jason’s examples of how we could GO FURTHER and truly establish our tribute to the 343 and others who went before us.† Those who feel that wearing the t-shirt and applying a $3.95 helmet sticker is ENOUGH (as most did yesterday) of a tribute to those who gave their lives and left loved ones behind, is pure bullshit.† I can say that, and, yes, you can disagree.† Fine.† What I’m saying (and seems to have been lost on you) is that, as a Brotherhood, we have to go much FURTHER† We have to make Brotherhood a verb.† We need to find ways to commit ourselves and our companies to a higher standard than a highly stickered group of three or four or five.† We need to look past ourselves and put into play that which makes our fellow firefighters more proud of what they do.† We nend to commit to train more hous than we shop, cook, and eat.† We need to find ways to leave the fire service better than we found it- and that takes a change in attitude from doing more than emblazoning our gear, our POV’s, and our bodies.† WE NEED TO ACT THE PART, not parrot it.† If you find that sanctimonious, well I can handle the judgement.† After all of the superficial drivel yesterday, I felt it was necessary for all of us to reflect upon the depth of our ownership of the word “brotherhood.”† If you want to disagree, or call me out, then have at it. Not a problem.† I’ll continue to call ’em as I see ’em as well, brother..

  • Extinguished_Gentleman says:

    What is scarcely a statistical blip in the fatalities scale has been nothing but a torrent of mock†adulation. The real brothers carried the rest of burden without heralding.

    Allowing 9/11 to shape actions lends†credibility†to the attackers and discounts what I thought was the tenacity of America.

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John Mitchell

Firefighter/Paramedic and a Lieutenant in suburban Chicago

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