Saturday, November 07, 2009

OCTOBER 13th: Fire Chief's Funeral

Fire Chief Funeral 044, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

It all started when I was driving Liam to school and we got behind a fire truck from about 1930. Odd to see this truck, shined up and driving on the road at 9AM. Odder still to see a fireman, dressed in full regalia with white gloves and a hat on driving it. I felt I had stepped back in time!

I dropped Liam off at school and went for my walk. I saw firemen in their finest hanging about the firestation. I was curious, I asked one of them. He told me that Richard McGlynn, the town's first paid fire chief had died and that they were all coming out to honor him. I continued my walk and got some random shots of clusters of firemen standing by polished rigs:
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I walked by St. Mary's Catholic Church as everyone was gathering there with bagpipers and police cars:
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I felt I was spying, gawking, at something very sacred, so I walked on and went home.

When I came back with Elena to pick Liam up from school, the funeral was just getting out. Throngs of the firemen were hurrying back to the fire station. I brough the children over and we sat across the way, quietly, and watched stock still. The firemen put out a table with a chief's hat and uniform and all lined up behind it. They stood at ease for some time.
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As the funeral procession left the church and approached the fire station, the chief called out to the ranks to stand at attention...
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The hearse approached and they all saluted in unison:
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The hearse then pulled in front of the station, led by all the old and glorious machines and paused:
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The station blew a three whistle salute and the old chief moved on to his final resting place. It was one of the most moving experiences of my life.

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