Courage: Archiving A Special Post
Making sure this post lives on in Kevin's honor
Kevin McMackin, February 2014
You won't see blog posts on here often. This may likely be the only one.
Back in 2014 I had started a personal art project, where I photographed representations of specific words and what they had meant to me once a week. On Week 4, I pulled the word "Courage".
This was the original post:
Last week's word pull from the JBP was easier than I could have imagined. I pulled the word "Courage" and hung it up where I always do to think about it. Immediately I thought about all the people I know in the emergency services -- the police, the dispatchers, EMT's, paramedics, firemen -- they ALL represented courage to me. The question then became "Who?"
Out of all of these people, how was I going to choose who represented courage the most? I could have gone several different ways with this, knowing how many of these people had been on many hard calls and situations (such as 9/11) and kept going. But then it became incredibly obvious who I needed to photograph.
Kevin needed to be it. Kevin became an EMT at the earliest age possible, and has now spent years riding as both a volunteer and paid EMT. A couple of years ago, Kevin entered the fire academy and now rides as a volunteer firefighter for Oakland, New Jersey. Kevin has also began school for becoming a paramedic. So have many other people -- so why did I choose Kevin?
At the age of 22, Kevin is also a stage 4 cancer survivor.
And he never let it slow him down. When he couldn't be in the back of the ambulance, he stayed on as driver. He signed up for and passed the fire academy. FIRE ACADEMY! The fire academy is very physical and challenging training, but he never thought twice about it. Kevin continuously puts caring for other people ahead of himself. Luckily for us all, he took care of himself enough to stick around for the long haul.
He could have easily walked away from this all but he didn't. He had remarkable courage to get up each day and fight. Whether it be fighting traffic to get a patient to the hospital, fighting a fire, or even fighting for his own future, Kevin fought with courage.
If you ask him about it, he'll shrug and reply "I'm just doing what I signed up for" denying any suggestion that he might be special. "No, the special ones are the ones who don't come home at night. I'm just lucky."
Kevin = Courage
Unfortunately, in June 2015 the unthinkable happened and Kevin suddenly passed away.
This is why the blog post for "Courage" is the only post I am carrying over from my old website. Kevin's memory will live on, not just because we miss him every day, but because he was a true inspiration and embodiment of what it means to be filled with Courage.