Prior to leaving for our week of elk hunting (I'm still digesting what happened with our hunt and will add an update soon), I witnessed something that will stay with me always. Family, friends and fellow firefighters came from all across the U.S. and Canada to witness names being added to the Fallen Firefighter Memorial in Colorado. Prior to the service, hundreds of firefighters rode in a procession from Denver to the Springs. The honor of respecting those willing to sacrifice their life for another when duty calls was the reason we rode. The reason we came was to say well done and thank you. A small gesture that spoke volumes and worth every moment -
To honor the Fallen.
The emotions that stirred within me during the motorcyle ride are so hard to express. Portions of the highway were closed down completely in order to allow the procession to roll through. Under bridges lined with FireTrucks we proceeded well under normal highway speeds. From tops of Engines, fellow firefighters saluted their commrades below as bikes rolled by below. It was as if everyone was silently saying "thank you" to their brothers willing to stand shoulder to shoulder in the face of danger, and ultimately paying their respect to those who did stare danger down and fought till the end. So we rode -
To honor the Brave.
Upon reaching Colorado Springs, our procession grew in size by several hundred more bikes. The police escorted trail of motorcycles snaked through suburbia with citizens waving and cheering us on to the sound of "thank you" as we passed by.
At the end of ride, the bike procession merged with a row of fire trucks representing various cities. The service in the park began with a prayer followed by the Colorado sky filled with the sound of Amazing Grace flowing from rows of bagpipes, pipes and drums. All for the purpose of one thing -
To Honor the Fallen.
As the bell tolled for each fallen firefighter, a flag was given to one of their loved ones. The bells tone seemed to echo across the mountains as if to say - well done. Well done. You are brave and we honor you and your family.
At the close of the day, firefighters, family and friends all gathered downtown. Bagpipes, pipes and drums took over the city streets and local establishments. It was as if no one wanted the day to end, and so the music played on well into the night....
The entire day was meaningful to me being the wife of a firefighter - knowing that my husband is willing to put his life on the line if that is what is required. I'm thankful and proud of the man by my side. For him, I know that it is not just a job, but a calling.