RESCUE 116 REMEMBERED
"In gratitude and praise of lives lived and given"
As we celebrate St Patrick's Day, our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the Crew of Rescue 116. It has been such a tragedy for so many people. We pray for those currently engaged in the search for the wreckage off Black Sod and hope that it will be a swift and successful search that affords the families of the missing crew members the opportunity to grieve in a way that offers some hope of consolation.
We pray too for Captain Fitzpatrick's family who have shown such bravery and concern in their words around their sister and daughter as well as their wish that the other families, like themselves, may be able to grieve in the presence of their loved ones. We think of Captain Fitzpatrick's son and thank God he has such a supportive family around him at this time.
There is a reminder here that we are so indebted to these people who work in very difficult situations to ensure the safety of people on land and at sea. It is truly tragic that lives were lost in this way but you'd hope the families of the Crew Members will have some peace in knowing their loved ones died doing the job they believed in and gave their lives for.
As we celebrate St Patrick's Day and our National Pride, surely these four and their colleagues have a lasting place in that pride and we celebrate their memory.
May they rest in peace
On Monday last I heard your sound
you in sky and me on ground,
on the phone, chatting with a friend
wondered where your journey's end?
Someone somewhere was in need
prayed you'd reach them with due speed
and from the sky you'd hover low
to help the stricken ones below
The sound was loud as you crossed Mayo
I prayed God's blessing as you'd go
a fleeting wish that you'd be blest
and to ones troubled you'd bring rest
An hour later I went to bed
your journey then had left my head
a few hours later the story broke
as to a new day I awoke
Helicopter missing near Black Sod;
Could it be them? I asked my God
is that the one that passed last night
to ease another's troubled plight?
And yes it was or so it seems
in a world shattered by broken dreams
In lives laid down, you gave your all
in answer to another's call
Your photos now before our gaze
friends and family offer tear-filled praise
and the loss they feel is ours too
for as a nation we mourn you
How could you as crew have known
the destiny to which you'd flown
but know this now and for evermore
your memories in our hearts we store
To Dara, Paul, Ciarán and Mark
who flew that night into the dark
know this day, you gave your best
in God's hands we leave the rest.
Some time ago, iCatholic on behalf of the Catholic Bishops' Conference featured a video promoting responsibility with alcohol. Captain Dara Fitzpatrick was a central contributor to that film. Following her death @catholicbishops and Catholic News tweeted a link to this piece. Having watched it, the dedication Captain Fitzpatrick had to her job and loyalty to her colleagues is so evident. Equally her commitment to caring for those in need of the Coast Guards' assistance. It is a fitting memory of a woman who lived her life, loved her job and made a difference.