Tuesday, March 26, 2013


I have been to one firefighter funeral before and it was very touching, but it was nothing compared to what I experienced today. I guess it began last night at the viewing with the double honor guard (one at each end) at my friend Dick's casket. I can't even count the number of fire fighter's who showed up in their dress blues to honor him and show their respect last night and today. One of the Chief's spoke very lovingly and humorously at his funeral today. When the funeral was over we followed the procession to the grave site for his burial. I had no idea the best part was about to come.

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As the procession pulled up over this big, winding hill, we see two large fire ladder trucks parked on either side of the road with their ladders completely extended and crossing each other to make an arch for our vehicles to drive under. Behind each fire truck was a complete company of firefighters standing at attention as the hearse and caravan of cars followed behind. It was an amazing sight. (Had I known it was coming, I'd have had my camera out, I barely got a couple of shots with my camera phone--and they aren't very good.) I kept it together long enough to take a few shots with my camera phone and then I broke down. What  a brotherhood these firefighters have. What love they have for each other. I was so touched by their show of love, admiration and affection for their lost comrade. But wait, there is still more.

We arrive at the cemetery and grave-site. The grave is dedicated and then, the time is turned over to the firefighters for a presentation. The chief brings the radio and makes one final call for his comrade and then comes the answer from dispatch citing Dick's years of service, some kind words about him and a final farewell from his brothers - and then we notice something happening a little ways off on the edge of the cemetery. We look over to see two firemen dressed in their fire fighting outfits both with water hoses. They are facing each other and spraying their water into each other's--in effect creating a forceful spray or wall of water. Then we notice three other firefighters in fire fighting attire walking toward that wall of water. The one in the middle, has Dick's name on his uniform. He stops just before he gets to the spray or wall of water, turns to the crowd and nods and then walks into the wall of water and disappears. The other two walk off to the side. I don't think there was a dry eye anywhere. It was a beautiful, amazing tribute.

If you have to lose someone, and you have to attend a funeral--this is the type of comfort you want to receive--that's for sure. At least it's the type I want to receive. It left me knowing my friend Dick was loved deeply in life-- and gave me the added assurance that just as the firefighters portrayed for us--he is still with us--he has just gone on to a better place. I love you Dick. Thanks for all you did to bless my life. 

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