John Thornburg wanted to do something to honor his father. His father, Doug Thornburg, is a firefighter at station 57 in Kenmore.
Since his father began as a firefighter in 2002, John said he has seen his father come home, “shaken” after “tragic calls.”
One night after a night of particularly tragic calls, John could tell Doug was shaken.
“This situation happens from time to time, but this time felt different. Heavier — I was bothered,” John said.
John is the lead singer and drummer of alternate/indie rock band, Asterhouse. He wrote the band’s new song, “The Heart Moan,” following that night.
“When I sat down with my guitar, I was thinking about [my father]. The song just kind of spilled out,” John said.
The song is about the psychological damage that can occur if pain and hardship is kept withheld from others.
“The pain gains power from suppression. It is ok to let your heart break loudly,” John said. “I felt the song should be dedicated to fighters who might take others’ tragedies with them.”
To honor the work his father and other firefighters, Asterhouse, Gypsy Temple, BoobooLala, and Ian Hale and The Legacy, held a benefit concert at the Skylark Cafe Club in West Seattle on Feb. 22.
Donations went toward the Northshore Fire Foundation. The nonprofit foundation, made up of firefighters, serves the communities of Kenmore and Lake Forest Park.
“Firefighters encounter opportunities every day to assist the citizens we serve. Sometimes we provide a warm coat, baby food, diapers, shelter, and even educate the public on resources that are available for those that qualify,” Foundation chair John Burrow said in a release. “It’s not enough to identify the problem. As a community, we also need to come together and be part of the solution.”
The foundation partners with several local charities, such as Big Brothers and Big Sisters of King County, Hopelink, Babies of Homelessness, Mary’s Place and Operation Warm Coat.
Burrow said while the the foundation supports many charities, donations from this benefit will be going to Operation Warm Coat for Mary’s Place and Babies of Homelessness.
“We hold an annual coat fundraising event for Mary’s Place. Last year, we collected between 28-30 coats for them,” he said. “One of the reasons why I love these charities is because their mission is great and their heart is big.”