Friday, January 24, 2003


This morning we went to the funeral of our coworker who was also a fire-fighter. I have never been to the funeral of a fire-fighter before and it was truly something to see. Upon entering the church parking lot our jaws dropped at the sheer number of police vehicles, fire trucks, ambulances, and many other emergency response vehicles. Multiply that number by about five and it might total half the number of emergency response workers that filled the church. The front entrance of the church was marked with two fire engines whose ladders were raised and had the American flag hanging between the two. We arrived not long before the service was to begin so our seats were far in the back of the crowd. I don't think being any closer would have been easy though, the service was very moving. You have never seen such a brotherhood until you have witnessed grown men holding one another up for support over the loss of a fellow brother. Our coworker was paid a high honor...when we entered the church someone said, "The success of your life is shown by the number of people who attend your funeral" - there is no question that Gary wasn't a successful man. The seas of people who showed up to honor him and his family is proof of that. After the service the fireman made a wall of honor in front of the church to pay tribute to Gary. It was one of the most moving events I have witnessed in my life.

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