Louis Mulkey was a firefighter in Charleston, South Carolina. He was also an assistant basketball and football coach for Summerville High School. Mulkey loved being a firefighter and a coach. The kids that he coached loved him as well. Mulkey had coached the same players since middle school, and he promised them one day that they would win the state championship before they graduated. He was the best coach a kid could ask for, he was enthusiastic, full of energy, and mostly, he believed in his players.
On June 18, 2007 he was called to a fire at a furniture store. Mulkey and several other men went into the store. The fire quickly got out of control and then the roof collapsed. Mulkey was trapped in the store with no way out. All of a sudden there was a mayday call that came over the radio. It was Louis Mulkey, and with his last words he said, “Tell my wife…I love you”. He was dead at the age of thirty four. Eight other firefighters were also killed in the blaze, making it the worst tragedy for firefighters since 9/11.
Mulkey left behind a wife, family, and a group of kids who had just lost a father figure. The basketball team was mourning their coach’s death when their season began. But they were on a mission; they were going to win the state championship just like Mulkey promised. They decided as a team that the season would be ...
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...hem they would. They never forgot about their coach. After the game the team posed for a picture with Mulkey’s wife and the helmet the fire department made for them. At 1:00 a.m. on the ride home, the team stopped by the cemetery where Mulkey was buried to show him the state trophy. Some players even left their medals on his grave.
Courage is being fearless and brave in a difficult situation. Louis Mulkey knew what he was doing when he ran into that fire. He knew all the risks involved. But he did it anyways because it was his job, and he showed no fear while doing it. He left behind a distraught basketball team; a team that came together under terrible circumstances. All they had to do was give up after everything they went through. Instead, they showed courage and accomplished what may be the best moment of their lives; winning a state championship.
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