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Slán abhaile.

If you were asked what you did on any given day three weeks ago would you be able to remember without going back and checking your calendar first? Or what about a day two weeks ago? More than likely the answer is no. But what if you were asked where you went on your last vacation – could you remember that? Or what you did last Christmas or on the Fourth of July? Chances are you remember exactly where you went and what you did.

"Responsibility of Fire Chief etched on his face, Chief John McGrath at the major Raleigh fire. The job of Fire Chief is not for the weak." - Chief Dan Jones

That’s because we tend to remember the experiences that are out of the ordinary. When we do things that are novel such as going on a vacation, or eating at a new restaurant, or trying something new we remember these things vividly.

We remember people that we feel close to in life and we remember people who impacted our lives in a majorly positive way as well as people who impacted us in a majorly negative way. We remember our relationships that were meaningful to our lives.

We don’t remember days, we remember moments.

Today we remember the moment we met Chief John McGrath of the Raleigh Fire Department -- because today is his last day of work. Chief McGrath supported Wake and District since the moment we were formed. He wore an amazing tartan vest to our first tartan ball, he was the Grand Marshall of the Raleigh St. Patrick's Day Parade - and he started the tradition after promotional ceremonies we piped those promoted and their families from Raleigh City Hall to Raleigh Fire Station 1; a tradition we carried on tonight in his absence. People may not remember the words spoken during the ceremony, but they will never forget the skirl of the pipes as they marched down the street.

If we can stop ourselves from just saying “no I’m too busy” all the time we can open the door to doing things that will forever be amazing memories. Be more willing to start and keep up repeated traditions. Be more willing to make time to get close to people who can impact your life for the better. These are the things you are going to remember in your life. These are the memories you get to take with you. Focus on making more memories in life! They are AWESOME!

Thanks for the amazing memories Chief McGrath - and congratulations on your retirement.

As you make your way back to Philly, we simply say -- Slán abhaile.

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