There is a saying in music that the rest between the notes is its most important element. Wynton Marsalis says that everything in his own compositions emanates from silence. And he talks about âthe long tone,â the single note that a trumpeter holds that becomes like white noise, a tone that he tries to make so still that it is like silence.
I thought about this as I contemplated the career of Jeffrey Hudson. During his almost two decades of service he worked from some of the busiest firehouses in the city. Fighting a fire is a very noisy thing. The alarms, the radio dispatches, the sirens, the horns, the radios, the shouts, the very sound of the fire itself are a deafening cacophony in which Jeffrey Hudson and his fellow firefighters work â so bravely and so well.
Our neighborhoods readily acknowledge the noisy service by Jeffery Hudson and his fellow firefighters and we are truly grateful there are men and women who will run toward the flames.
But, I want to talk about a great service less noticed, less acknowledged, at which Jeffrey Hudson also excelled.
All firefighters spend most of their duty away from fires. It is the time in which they train, prepare, study, exchange information, eat, exercise, develop teamwork, and rest. It is, for firefighters, the silence between the notes that makes their music work. His chief, his captain, and his fellow fighters all wanted me to know that Jeffrey Hudsonâs spirit, dedication, and good nature made every fire house in which he served better. He loved his job, his department, and his city. And he generously shared his enthusiasm, dedication, and professionalism with everyone.
It is my saddest â and proudest â duty as mayor to bid farewell to one of our heroes. I assure his family, his friends, and his department that Jeffery Hudsonâs service and quiet heroism was noticed by a grateful city. And we will miss him.