Several months after the attacks on September 11, our department set about establishing an Honor Guard. After much research, training and ordering of uniforms, July 4th was our first opportunity to march as a unit.

We were not prepared for the response we received as we marched with our nation's colors !!

I know that in some areas of the country, public support for the fire service has waned since the events of September 11. Not so in the Land of the Midnight Sun.

As we passed by each group of spectators, the amount of applause was tremendous; and not short lived either. What was so moving was watching senior men sitting in their lawn chairs along the route, raise themselves on trembling legs and salute the flag we so proudly bore. Needless to say, it was a challange to march with misty eyes.

Thank you for your time.