1. #1
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    Unhappy 03-11-04 Remembering a NH LODD and a friend...

    Tomorrow we will gather here in Laconia NH to remember our fallen brother, Mark Miller who died one year ago in a scuba training accident. Please say a prayer for Mark's wife Gayle and his three daughters Shauna, Kelsey, and Alyson.

    Mark, I miss you Brother.
    Proud to be an American, Union Firefighter!

  2. #2
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    A year later, a friend, Firefighter Mark Miller remembered

    By GEOFF CUNNINGHAM Jr.

    Staff Writer

    LACONIA ó Close to 100 firefighters, friends and family members of Mark Miller lined the gangplank of the MV Mount Washington on Friday during a ceremony that marked a year since the local firefighter drowned in the icy water off Lake Winnipesaukee.

    Overcast skis and the frozen lake set a solemn backdrop for a private affair that allowed those closest to Miller to reflect on his dedication and acknowledge the deep sorrow they still feel as a result of his death during a dive training accident.

    Fire Chief Ken Erickson told the crowd that it doesnít seem like a year has passed since they lost Miller, who at 43 was a 17-year veteran of the force.

    "March 11 was probably our darkest day. Itís going to be a long time before we get over this tragic loss," said Erickson.

    Fridayís ceremony was attended by several city, fire and police officials from all over the Lakes Region who joined the local department and Millerís wife, Gayle.

    Miller had three daughters and was described as a dedicated husband, father and firefighter.

    Erickson spoke passionately about the Millerís character and the amazing strides that have been made since his death.

    Miller was the fire departmentís lead diver and was working to establish a fully equipped and manned dive team when a diving accident resulted in him never surfacing in the waters directly off the Weirs Docks.

    Erickson told the crowd that if Millerís death was the saddest moment the proudest was the huge effort that ensued to bring his body home.

    More than 200 individuals took part in the search and rescue effort that was led by members of his own department who worked tirelessly for hours.

    Since his death the department has secured a fully equipped rescue boat and several firefighters have been trained to be certified rescue divers.

    Erickson said the effort is reflective of a firefighter who always gave it his all no matter what he was doing.

    "The lesson I learned from Mark was to live life to the fullest," said the chief.

    Erickson hailed Miller for his firefighting abilities and physical strength saying it seemed like he could go in and "overhaul" a building by himself.

    He said Miller will be also missed for his infectious personality and his dedication to what is the most routine job of firefighters and other emergency responders ó helping others.

    Firefighter JP Hobby, the diver who was diving with Miller on the day he disappeared, placed a wreath in the water in remembrance of the man.

    A red flowered wreath bearing "LFD Local 1153" was also on display on the dock and was to be placed at Millerís grave.

    Officers read two prayers dedicated to firefighters and rescue divers and a bagpiper played during the beginning and ends of the ceremony.

    Erickson told the assembly of mostly police officers and firefighters that they were lucky to have a job that allows them to save lives and property. He said Millerís death brings to light the risks of a job that can end lives abruptly and unexpectedly.

    In the end the chief addressed Miller himself saying "watch over us ... we are watching over Gayle and the girls."

    Those attending Fridayís ceremony met at a local restaurant following the event to share refreshments and memories of Miller.
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