Honoring the fallen heroes of HNE

This week the Dog is taking a break from the critical analysis of public entities and their shortcomings to address a sad anniversary of sorts. It’s October, which means it’s time to reflect on the legacy left by two local heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of public safety.

Columbus Day 2015 Kansas City firefighters responded to 2600 Independence Boulevard on a Structure Fire call. For two of those firefighters it would be their last alarm. Firefighters John Victor Mesh and Larry Leggio were born and raised in Historic Northeast, and were in fire companies that responded on that fateful day. By the time the first companies arrived on the scene, the fire had grown to a three alarm blaze, trapping a number of people on upper floors of the building.

After helping trapped apartment residents to safety, Mesh and Leggio deployed to a narrow alley on the east side of the building adjacent to Snyder’s Supermarket. It was then that the 100-year-old brick wall of the flaming building exploded and collapsed, trapping both men under tons of bricks and burning rubble. Witnessing these two brave heroes pulled from the rubble that night, this humbled and grateful News-Dog says a prayer every time we hear the sirens wail and the equipment roll.

There’s been a lot of controversy lately about professional athletes taking a knee during the playing of the National Anthem. While this dog has her own thoughts about that, we’d simply ask readers to take a knee and remember those two brave first responders who made the ultimate sacrifice two years ago in the line of duty on Independence Avenue. Say a prayer for the families, both at home and at the station house that these heroes left behind. They’re the ones who carry the burden on a daily basis.

Last week, Northeast High School dedicated their new soccer facility to the legacy left by Mesh, Leggio and Luther Hurd, another Northeast-born firefighter who was killed in the line of duty responding to a fire at a construction site near old 71 Highway and 87th street in 1988. This Newsdog hopes that the legacies left by these brave men is an inspiration for us all to aspire to a higher calling.

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