Cheat-Seeking Missles

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Grand Funerals And Forgotten Men

Five firefighters killed when flames overtook their truck as they worked to save a home in Twin Pines got a hero's funeral today as more than 10,000 gathered to honor their sacrifice.

US Forest Service chaplain Steve Seltzern said of firefighters Jason McKay, Jess McLean, Daniel Hoover-Najera, and Pablo Cerda and engine captain Mark Loutzenhiser:

In the simple act of lacing up their fire boots, they were actually committing themselves to protect and to serve.

That commitment killed them and 10,000 people isn't a crowd big enough to honor them sufficiently.

Meanwhile, in Mississippi, a very different man's death came and went with little notice.

The man was former Ku Klux Klan Imperial Wizard Samuel H. Bowers, who died at the Mississippi state penetentiary at the age of 82. Bowers spent the last eight years of his life in prison for ordering the 1966 bombing death of a civil rights leader.

Bowers ordered the death of civil rights attorney Vernon Dahmer Sr. Dahmer was 58 years old when he was killed in a Ku Klux Klan-ordered fire-bombing. Dahmer had just announced that blacks could pay their poll tax at his grocery stor.

Of Bowers, Dahmer's widow said,"He was supposed to stay there until he died. I guess he fulfilled that. He lived a lot longer than Vernon Dahmer did."

To paraphrase the Forest Service chaplain:

In the stupid act of living out his hatred, he was actually committing himself to protecting the unjustifiable and serving his eternity in Hell.

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