Lufkin firefighters explain background of viral photo

Lufkin firefighters explain background of viral photo
Wade Modisette
Wade Modisette
Wade Modisette
Wade Modisette

By Jena Johnson

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A photograph of four Lufkin firefighters praying at a restaurant has gone viral on Facebook. In just two days, the photo has received more than 60,000 likes.

The firefighters in the photo don't understand why the picture has garnered so much attention. Praying is something they do before every meal, and the photo simply captures a moment these firefighters share together nearly every day.

To them, it's simple; they pray before they eat.

"We just bowed our heads to pray," Wade Modisette, one of the Lufkin firefighters in the photo, said. "It's nothing spectacular. It's nothing that's really earth shattering, but I guess so many people have responded to it because I don't know … maybe we're getting away from that as a world, as a country, as a community, and maybe it's something we need to refocus on."

Modisette said that he and his fellow firefighters had no idea the owner of Skyline Burrito Bowls was taking the picture as they were praying.

"We didn't intend for it to happen," Modisette said. "We weren't trying to make a political or spiritual statement or anything. That's just what we do at the station all the time."

Back at the station, Lufkin Assistant Fire Chief Duane Freeman said he's proud his crew, unknown to them, helped send a message that thousands of people have shared.

"It's very amazing," Freeman said. "It's just a simple picture that has the fire department on the back of their shirt, and for it to get that much attention is really amazing."

The owner of Skyline Burrito Bowls says he had no idea the photo would reach that many people.

"I thought it would get 35 likes tops," Tavo Velazquez, the owner of Skyline Burrito Bowls, said. "When it went viral and it hit almost 60-thousand likes that was amazing. That just shows me how powerful God is and what all he can do.

Before East Texas News could finish the story, another 300 people liked this photo. TV personality Kelly Ripa re-Tweeted the photo Friday, saying, "Praying heroes. I love this shot."

Modisette said that he feels blessed this image continues to reach so many people.

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