Andrew O’Dwyer is one of the two firefighters who passed away in southwest Sydney. Charlotte, his daughter, doesn’t quite understand what’s going on, but refuses to leave her hero’s coffin.
The multiple fires that spread across Australia have caused enormous damage. Although the number of deaths is not high, every death causes great sorrow. Nature has suffered immensely, but so have human beings.
This little girl proudly wears her father’s helmet, who lost his life in one of the accidents that hit southwest Sydney. He’s one of the two firefighters who died on an intense day of fighting flames. Now, his daughter Charlotte, refuses to leave this hero’s coffin.
Little Charlotte has become the symbol of the Australian struggle. After endless months of combat and terrible losses that the country, people and animals have suffered, seeing these scenes inspires courage to continue fighting.
She is almost 1 year old and doesn’t understand very well what’s going on. She sees people crying, comforting them for something she doesn’t understand, death. She’s heard that Dad will not be there anymore, but she can’t comprehend the real meaning of that. The sadness of such a loss fails to prevail in the presence of her innocence.
Her father, Andrew O’Dwyer, was barely 36 years old. He was a volunteer firefighter who has become a national hero. A martyr. Andrew became the 25th victim of Australia’s fires.
The young man was one of the two victims who lost his life in southwest Sydney, after a fallen tree pushed his truck off the road.
Charlotte O’Dwyer walks among adults in the atmosphere of sadness. Her mother, Melissa, takes her in her arms to say goodbye to Dad. A kiss that she’ll probably remember for the rest of her life, when she wonders what happened.
“Charlotte should know that her father was a selfless and special man, that he only left because he was a hero. There are no words that can adequately describe our pain, our respect, for Andrew’s loss… in that tragic accident. ”
Said the Commissioner of Rural Fire Services, Shane Fitzsimmons.
That same commissioner was responsible for putting a medal on Charlotte’s chest in commemoration of her father. She wore the helmet for a long time, without detaching herself from his side, as if she knew it would be the last time she’d be able do this.
During these days, a little rain has fallen in some of the country’s states, but it hasn’t been enough to stop the fires. A day of truce, many have said. A break between so much chaos.
A moment to mourn the losses and replenish energies, as much as possible, to continue fighting the flames.
If you want to help fight the fires in Australia or rescue animals affected by the flames, you can donate to the following organizations:
Australia needs us.