Letter: We promised not to forget
On July 6, 2016, I was on the phone with the mother of one of the Storm King 14 who sacrificed their lives to protect us and save our community on July 6, 1994. This call has been a commitment I have willingly kept for the past 20-plus years. I have come to know the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and their families and friends. They have appreciated the compassion, sympathy and respect that have come from our community.
When I was asked by her what was in the paper this year, I was tempted to lie — but instead, I told her the truth, that there was nothing. She graciously said, “Oh, well,” but then added, “we shall never forget.” She was obviously disappointed.
Since the Storm King fire, hundreds if not thousands of new people have moved into our valleys. They should be made aware of this history and sacrifices others have made so we can live in and enjoy this beautiful place we call home.
We have a beautiful memorial at Two Rivers Park. Let the new members of our community know that it exists and the history behind it. It puts a face, a name and a short history on the 14 people we lost that day: Robert Browning, Richard Tyler, Don Mackey, Roger Roth, Jim Thrash, Kathi Beck, Tami Bickett, Scott Blecha, Levi Brinkley, Doug Dunbar, Terri Hagen, Bonnie Holtby, Rob Johnson and Jon Kelso.
I remember, as do many others.
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
Editor’s note: With no public commemoration planned, the Post Independent took pictures on July 6 at the Storm King memorial and from the memorial trail, posting them online that afternoon and running a photo in the newspaper of July 7.
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