Thursday, October 14, 2010

For whom the sirens go off

The other day a friend in Groningen twitted: 'De sirenes van de ambulance zijn geweldig om te horen, zelfs 's nachts. Elke keer denk ik: weer potentieel een leven gered!' / 'The sirens of the ambulance are great to hear, even at night. Every time I think, again potentially a life is saved!' The moment I read it I experienced an overwhelming realization and a flashback... A realization why exactly I've always liked the sound of ambulance sirens, and a flashback from my childhood. I must have been 5-6 years old, we were in the city with my Mom, and an ambulance with the siren on drove by. I'd never seen ambulance before, so my Mom explained that ambulances take sick people or pregnant women who are about to deliver to the hospital. Perhaps in my childish mind, 'sick' was already scary word, so I said 'I hope this ambulance was taking a lady to the hospital to have a baby'. And then I clung to my Mom's arm. And only the other night I realized that every time I hear an ambulance, I hear hope... Thanks Erik, for putting it so simple, yet so moving... Fun fact - Did you know that the ambulance siren sound in UK and US is different from the one in continental Europe? :-) For the US/UK click here and for Europe click here.


  1. Ambulances fill me with fear. It seems to me that the sirens are screaming and saying -- stay away, this person is dying. My worst memory was of sitting in an ambulance bringing my dead mother's body home. It was the most terrible 30 minutes, I have spent in my life.

  2. Rachna, it must have been really hard. I'm sorry for your Mom's early death.

  3. Thanks Iliana. Yep, I was 26, and she was just 52. It has been 9 years since she went, and I still seek her support and love from her memories. I guess, losses teach us to cherish what we have.