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June 18th - it’s not about you Mayor Riley
Lee Walton

This week’s proposed memorial services to honor the needless and tragic deaths of nine brave CFD firefighters one year ago should not become a shameless excuse for Mayor Riley to practice false humility, personal image rebuilding or self-aggrandizement. There should be no speeches about how great Riley’s Class One ISO fire department was or will become or what a great leader his ex-Fire Chief Thomas is or was; none of these hollow platitudes are appropriate for the solemn occasion the City of Charleston faces this week.

Mayor Riley, for once in your life, show a little class and have the decency to honor these nine departed souls with your silence and humility.

Now is not the time for politically motivated speeches or false sincerity. If you and Chief Thomas each have a shred of character, you will both sit quietly in the audience with others who wish to humbly and reverently remember those nine brave firefighters who gave their last full measure for the profession they each revered as their life’s calling. Each of these brave men placed their trust and lives in the incompetent leadership of your administration and fire department and paid the ultimate sacrifice for their decisions. Don’t fail them again by dishonoring their memory with inappropriate, misplaced political rhetoric.

Mayor Riley, the greatest respect you can show for the memory of these nine brave men and to their grieving friends and survivors is your complete, humble, and solemn silence.