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the volunteer fire department as a way of paying them back for their kindness and bravery.

As for Mr. Stone, Mr. Burdine and the other men who volunteered through the years there (many who have passed away by now), I want to say this: Ours is just one of many stories of how ordinary men with extraordinary courage saved not just a house, but the cherished memories and dreams held within its walls, reminding us that in the heart of every community beats the undying spirit of selflessness. In my mind and memory, that night marks a moment of valor, of camaraderie, and of community spirit — when a group of volunteer firemen became the unsung heroes of a quiet suburban neighborhood in a time before 9-1-1. They left their families and faced the fiery menace that threatened to devour our home that night, and for that, I will always remember them, pay tribute to them, and I will always be grateful.

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