In this week's Ellsworth American, retired firefighter and current Ellsworth City Councilor Gary Fortier, wrote about someone's actions, desecrating a memorial to Gary Beal, a retired Ellsworth firefighter who passed away on July 3rd.

Here's the letter Gary provided me

"The Ellsworth Fire Department lost one of our retired brothers on July 3rd.  Gary Beal has answered his last call.  On July 4th I purchased a pot of red geraniums which is the traditional plant of our memorial offerings and set it in the front doorway to Beal’s Jewelry Store on Main Street to honor a family that gave decades of service to this City.  I included a small fire department flag “Loyal to our Duty”.  I felt good for doing it.  Less than an hour and a half later I again went up Main Street and found that someone had removed the flag, ripped the flag off the pole, threw the pole into the street and stole the flag.  I haven’t had this much rage in my heart for more than fifty years.  For whatever reason, this person has single handedly insulted the brotherhood and the memory of our deceased brothers.  I am so angry I could eat nails."

Just like the thin blue line that ties all police officers together, there's a line that bands all firefighters together. It takes a special kind of person to rush in, when others are rushing out.

Is there a solution or remedy to this? Probably not, but I'd encourage you to thank a public safety member for their service. Whether it's a firefighter, police officer, dispatcher, sheriff deputy, correctional officer, or whomever, they're doing jobs most of us wouldn't dream of doing, serving and protecting, putting their lives out there, for us.

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