On Sunday, Nov. 30, my family and I gathered at Holy Family Church in Chicago for a sad anniversary. Fifty years ago (Dec. 1, 1958) a shocking fire raged at Our Lady of the Angels School on Chicago’s West Side. [Reclaiming a charred childhood, News, Dec. 3]
As a result of this tragedy, fire codes around the nation were changed. I still remember sitting on the floor in front of the TV, watching the panicky news reports and wondering if my cousins were safe. Thankfully they were, but many of their playmates died. For years we played in homes with makeshift altars in the living room, a picture of one, sometimes two, children enshrined. During this holiday season, let us pause for a moment and be thankful for all that we have, as well as the men and women who put their own lives at risk to keep us and our children safe.