Wes Hickman (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)
WASHINGTON – South Carolina’s United States Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint submitted this statement today into the Congressional Record.– South Carolina’s United States Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint submitted this statement today into the Congressional Record.
"On June 18, 2007, in the face of blazing fire, sacrifice and duty overcame fear and surrender. With great sadness and the utmost respect, we mourn the tremendous loss of nine of our finest firefighters, as well as the immeasurable loss experienced by their families and loved ones. As the flames engulfed the building, the brave men and women of the Charleston County Fire Department rushed into the collapsing building as others were running out, fleeing for their lives. May this extraordinary courage and sacrifice forever reflect the spirit of South Carolina, as well as that of our great Nation.
"We extend our sincerest condolences to their families, their colleagues, and their friends. You give your loved ones to us—to serve and protect our communities, putting public service above personal comfort. Our gratitude is boundless and our respect infinitely deep. We grieve beside you, and we take pride in and are humbled by this ultimate display of service and valor. In the midst of grief and devastation, may you find comfort in knowing that the memory of your loved ones will be forever etched in the minds of South Carolinians as the true embodiment of an American Hero.
"The United States has not experienced such a devastating loss of firefighters since the horrific events on September 11, 2001. May the Charleston County Fire Department, led by Chief Rusty Thomas, as well as emergency personnel around the country, forever fill this massive void with the legacy left behind by these brave fallen firefighters. Let their legacy not be engulfed by flames and reduced to rubble but rather let it embolden and encourage others to serve in their honor and continue their mission to public service. There is no higher call than to serve, and to the fallen, their families, and those that will fill their shoes, we are forever indebted to you for your noble sacrifices."