Tom Brady and his family live just a few doors down from the awful Back Bay fire that claimed the lives of two firemen this week. The New England Patriots star quarterback went on local radio Thursday to thank those heroes we so easily take for granted.
On Wednesday, a nine-alarm fire broke out at 298 Beacon St. in the Back Bay area of Boston, eventually claiming the lives of Boston Fire Department Lieutenant Edward J. Walsh and Firefighter Michael R. Kennedy, via The Boston Globe.
Among those bystanders taking in the frightening scene was Brady, whom the Boston Herald photographed, later posting the image to Twitter:
On behalf of my entire family, I want to extend my deepest sympathies and condolences to the Boston Fire Department and the families of our brave and selfless firefighters who gave their lives for our protection and safety today, and to the entire firefighting community who protect us each and every day. All of you will be in our thoughts and prayers.
By Thursday, Brady would share his thoughts and thanks while speaking with WEEI's The Dennis & Callahan Morning Show. Here is what he had to offer in the form of gratitude for the tireless efforts of the firemen who fought the blaze (transcribed via For the Win):
We as athletes think that we’re heroes, but when you witness firsthand what I saw yesterday, you realize who the real heroes are in this world. It’s the people that work hard to protect our lives and protect our safety and our freedoms in America — certainly the firefighters and Boston Police and the state troopers. I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart.
The Boston Globe's Matt Pepin transcribed more of the exchange, including the fire from Brady's vantage point:
I looked out of the front of our house and could see the flames, and then kind of went back to my room, and then went back about two minutes later and just saw it growing, and at that point I had gone to the back part of my house and from my deck I could see kind of what they were up against. At that point, all the fire engines were coming down the street. I was watching for obviously a long time, and then at one point I saw a pretty big explosion of flames and a lot of the firemen were coming out of the building, and that’s when I really got nervous.
The Patriots quarterback continued, "Our lives were never in jeopardy at all, thanks to those men."
Similar sentiments of gratitude weren't lost on other athletes, as Pepin notes:
There was an interesting moment during Brady's interview when he stated, "I drive by the fire station in the Back Bay...driven by that station thousands of times in all my years...and that was the group that was closest to the action."
It begs the question how many times we have all driven by similar stations all across the nation, failing to appreciate all the work and sacrifice they offer for our safety.
Thanks and gratitude doesn't have to be relegated to famous athletes or even those in the immediate area, because we are so very thankful for what these firemen deliver on a daily basis.
Brady summed it up rather nicely: "You know, the firemen who risked their lives, that’s who I just can’t pay enough respect toward."