I work directly across the street from Hempstead Fire Dept. Last week they had the funeral of one of their firemen. I stood outside watching as the recession went by. I stood there with tears until the last vehicle drove by. I looked at the firemen saluting in the street and wondered how many of these that these poor men have gone to in the past 2 months or so. It made me realize how we take firemen for granted, forgetting how they chose a job, or in most cases on Long Island, how they 'volunteer' to help save lives while putting their own lives on the line. I, for one, do not take firemen for granted anymore.