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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Fire Museum by Margot Justes

Last Saturday we spent the day without power due to a storm that blanketed the area with darkness. About one o'clock Saturday morning the power went out as did the sump pump and an hour later the back-up pump quit. All is now under control.

The weekend before that I spent time with Dina, and we paid a visit to Indianapolis, Indiana. After breakfast at the Hilton, (which was delicious and highly recommended) we opted for a walking tour of the city.

The heat and humidity notwithstanding, Indy is a great city to see on foot. We hiked to Massachusetts Ave and the highly anticipated 'best chocolate in town' shop, it didn't disappoint and the gelato was a welcome surprise in the stifling heat.

There were a couple of art boutiques, where we browsed and a few galleries which unfortunately were closed on Saturdays.

The highlight of the day was a visit to the Indianapolis Fire Museum, an amazing place that opened in 1996 in a remodeled fire station. The fire station dates back to 1872, the building bought by the fire fighters union has been fully restored and also serves as the Union Headquarters.

Guided tours are offered by retired fire fighters. It is a living and breathing memorial to past, present and future fire fighters. I got a tiny glimpse of life in a fire station, beautifully restored, the building has antique fire equipment on display, and 'the Survive Alive program' which teaches children what to do in case of fire. According to the brochure, about 20,000 children participate in the program annually.

A visit to that particular museum in Indianapolis should not be missed. I came away with a better understanding of the demands of the job. Chatting with our guide, I got the sense of the camaraderie that exists within the community and the willingness of that community to help others. It is not just a job, it is a profound calling to help others, and holds immense pride and shared brotherhood.

Evocative memories of those lost in the line of duty and the continuous support of family members were always within reach. The names were carved in the bricks, wall plaques, or simply the fire fighter telling me about comrades who lost their lives in various wars, fires and 09/11.

It was a deeply moving visit.

Till next time,
Margot Justes
A Hotel in Paris
www.mjustes.com

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