Firefighters from throughout the Upper Peninsula are gathered in the L'Anse-Baraga area for the annual U.P. Firefighter's Tournament.
As they assemble to compete good naturedly against their colleagues, we'd like to take a moment to thank these true home town heroes.
With very few exceptions, the brave men and women who make up the fire departments of the Upper Peninsula are not professionals. Most are employed in professions far removed from the dangers of rushing into a burning building.
These are teachers, mechanics, tradespersons, medical professionals and much more. There is no common thread among these brave individuals other than a desire to serve.
Not only are most firefighters unpaid volunteers, in many cases, firefighters, EMTs and other first responders must pay for their own training and equipment.
We feel there is no better way to express our appreciation for all these brave volunteers do than to give them the audience they deserve this weekend.
Whether its the formality of the dress parade, the good natured rivalry of the games or the fun of the night shirt parade, we ought to show up and show our gratitude.
It is important to remember that after all the excitment of a weekend in Baraga county, these heroes will return to their homes ready to risk their lives for the sake of their neighbors.
These brave men and women do so much all year long to keep us safe, isn't it fitting they take this weekend for a little fun and even a bit of showing off. They certainly deserve it.