Fallen firefighters ... It's a phrase that tugs at the heartstrings. Even more so when you know them.

More than once, we've sat in a cozy spot to interview a firefighter. Not the kind of story that follows a fire, but feature stories that delve into why they do what they do, and what it means to them. What it meant was easy to see. It was written on their faces.

Often, we've sat with older men whose memories reach far back to a time before the modern equipment and regulations of today. Back when a fire whistle in the center of town alerted the volunteers that there was a fire and where; back when the first man to the station drove the truck and others jumped on the back, and the risk of injury was high; back when dinner went uneaten and family events went unattended because these men had heard the call: FIRE!

While a great deal has changed, the feelings inside haven't. They have better equipment now and must train for hours on end to learn how to use it. But the reasons they do what they do are much the same.

They don't do it for the money: They don't get that much.

And when the call comes, they still miss dinner or a good night's sleep.

We're bringing this up because we have a story this week about the Townsend Fire-EMS Relief Association. They are holding their annual golf tournament, this year in honor of Capt. Billy Hamilton and Lt. Don Amadon, both of whom lost their battles with cancer.

If you're interested in playing or supporting the event, which raises money for Mass General and its fight against cancer, call Billy Elliott at 978-597-6712 or Brett King at 978-423-5323.

By the way, Townsend Ford is offering an F150 pick-up for a hole-in-one.