1. #1
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    Unhappy Ceromonies in D.C.

    Well folks, it took me awhile to get home. But here I am. It was a long and emotional weekend for those of us who attended.

    I want to start by thanking several people who I met there.

    First to Steven and Mark from Squad 41, FDNY. Thank you for your time to talk to me. Your steadfast courage under the worst of circumstances is an example to us all. Your modesty and hospitality were greatly appreciated. (Jennifer and Steve, save a spot for me on the couch this summer! Thanks!!)

    To Phil and Keith from Palm Harbor, FL- the E-mail is on the way!!

    To Libby- Darlin' I shall be ordering a chanter soon!!

    CJMinick390- Good to finally meet you in the flesh brother!! You can put away a pint with the best of them!!!


    Now for the depressing stuff.

    Mere words cannot describe the emotion of Sunday. Some of the sights that will haunt my memory for the rest of my life;

    Small children on the family buses holding pictures of their fathers up to the glass as they passed, the sea of blue.

    A mother of a fallen with her hand pressed to the glass, saying 'Thank you' over and over as the bus rolls by, the sea of blue.

    Grown men moved to tears at the sight of forty one buses filled with the survivors. All along, the sea of blue.

    All who have been lost are with us still, in the sea of blue.

    Their memories shall live FOREVER! In the sea of blue.
    I.A.C.O.J. Charter Member
    "Chet, get an inch and a half on that!"

    "Not for fame or reward,Not for place or rank. Not lured by ambition or goaded by necessity. But in simple obedience to duty as they understood it. These men suffered,sacrificed,dared all, and died. Let us never forget our fallen friends."

  2. #2
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    Wayne, good to meet you (and Mark) as well. I hope my contribution to the bar tab was sufficient. If not, let me know. I'm also committed to the first round at the Ott House in Emmitsburg next year. I hope more of the crusties can join us there. Shirts are on the way as soon as we get an order together.

    I want to echo Wayne's comments on the day. It was a bittersweet experience. I met some wonderful people, and got reaquainted with others that I have not seen for awhile. Wayne, I can't believe you forgot to mention the crew from California, especially the ones from the US Forest Service and Menlo Park. That was the positive that came out of the day. Unfortunately, the occasion that made this possible was a memorial service for the passing of nearly 450 brother and sister firefighters and emergency medical personnel that we lost in 2001. May we never have to deal with such numbers again.
    Last edited by CJMinick390; 10-10-2002 at 04:21 PM.
    Chris Minick, P.E., Firefighter II
    Structures Specialist, MD-TF 1

    These statements are mine and mine alone
    I.A.C.O.J. Building crust and proud of it

  3. #3
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    Default It was a long ride home

    It took our crew nearly 22 hours to drive back down here to Louisiana. As was previously stated, words cannot express being there. My memory will always be of the family busses passing. I glimpsed a small boy, around 6 or 7 years of age, with his face and hands pressed against the window. watching us as he passed. I knew that it was his mother or father he lost. When I returned home to Louisiana, I stopped by my 6 year old son's school just to give him a hug.

    I made some new friends and met with old friends. I hope to see you all next year at Emmittsburg. We can show our support, yet another year, to the families of the fallen.

    Be safe!

    The Traveling Firefighter (dot com)
    http://thetravelingfirefighter.com

    Never, never, never give up - Winston Churchill

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    What a great memorial service. I got to see it from back stage as my Chief escorted my
    mother to her seat. I did get to hear my brothers name read and got choked up seeing
    his picture put up on the screen. I was laying roses on the maltese cross when the teleprompter went down and lost the pictures of some of the fallen from FDNY.
    However it was a priveledge to lay down something as simple as a rose for someone
    who gave so much. I was moved to tears marching down the streets seeing all
    of those men and women in uniform standing there in support. I truly believe this is a
    family, us firefighters. If you are reading this and you were standing there or marching
    in the Honor Guard or if you just showed up out of the blue, thank you from the bottom
    of my heart. It meant so much to myself and my family (on the busses) to know that you
    were there to support us. God Bless you all. Gary Schafer proud brother of fallen
    firefighter Kirk Schafer.

  5. #5
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    Gary, you are most very welcome. And thank your family for giving us your brother as an inspiration.
    Chris Minick, P.E., Firefighter II
    Structures Specialist, MD-TF 1

    These statements are mine and mine alone
    I.A.C.O.J. Building crust and proud of it

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    I too was privliged to attent the Fallen Firefighters Memorial in D.C. as I do every year. This year I helped out at the regestration desk at the hotel where the New York families were staying. The most memorable time was when I met the Wife and 2 sons of Lt. Christopher Sullivan of L111. I have worn a memorial braclet for the past year with his name on it and haveing the chance to meet his family and for them to see the braclet that I have not taken off in over a year was very emotional for me. I was also very privliged to meet many other family members and personaly visit with each one of them. The weekend is one I will charesh for the rest of my life.

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