Crowd Claps, Sings 'Don't Stop' to Honor Gaines
VIENNA, VA. – Clapping and the crowd singing ‘Don’t Stop’ – that’s the way they ended the tribute to Deputy U.S. Fire Administrator Glenn Gaines here Friday.
Hundreds gathered at McLean Bible Church to offer a final salute to Gaines, a veteran firefighter who rose through the ranks to become chief of Fairfax County, Va. Fire and Rescue.
As he was an avid drummer who enjoyed rock and roll, many thought the Fleetwood Mac sing-along was perfect. And, they said Glenn would have given thumbs up.
It was Gaines’ daughter, Christy, who got the audience to its feet.
She mentioned that her dad, a humble man, would say he didn’t deserve the honors and tributes. “But, he was an extraordinary man who lived an extraordinary life.”
She added that he also would insist that the focus not remain on him, but the future.
Fairfax County Chief Richie Bowers, adding that everyone in the church could share precious moments they had with Gaines. “It’s a sad day, but it’s full of great memories…”
Humble, kind, calming, respectful, soft spoken but direct – that was Glenn Gaines.
Bowers recalled some of his mentor’s favorite sayings such as “I never learned anything while I was talking.”
National Fallen Firefighters’ Foundation Executive Director Ron Siarnicki said Gaines left a profound impression on him.
He said his friend had a knack for making people feel appreciated, and took the time to stop and chat.
“He may have had somewhere more important to be, but he never let on.”
Siarnicki lauded Gaines and his wife, Linda, for their dedication to the NFFF, and more importantly, their compassion for the families.
A saying by James Philip Bailey came to mind he said: “We should not count our time on this earth in the number of heartbeats we achieve, but in the heartbeats of those whose lives we have improved. He who thinks a lot, acts the best, and feels the noblest shall have lived the most.”
Siarnicki shared: “I would say Glenn lived his life to the very most and impacted so many heartbeats.”
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