Firefighters, flowers, and the things we hold dear

When you read stories like the one about the father in Maplewood who allegedly shot and killed his son because he didn’t want to pay for cable TV, it’s pretty easy to give up on people. What hope is there for a civilized society with the mounting evidence of its degradation?

Then you see this:

Steven Senne / AP

Firefighter Earl Johnson was the first to place some flowers outside the firehouse where Eddie Walsh and Michael Kennedy worked before they died in a fire in Boston on Wednesday.

And then more people, like Erin Defuria, came.

Steven Senne / AP

And Claudine Lewis.

Steven Senne / AP

And all day, perfect strangers came and did what they could to make better a situation that can’t be made better, reminding us that it’s our basic nature to care, to love, and to hold dear even the people we don’t know really know.

Could it be any more heartbreaking? Yes.