Well, I just bawled my eyes out watching the funeral on TV for Worcester Firefighter Jon Davies. The Mass was beautiful and the procession afterwards with the flag-draped casket on top of the engine was melancholy but, again, beautiful. The bagpipes just add to the general atmosphere.
Firefighter Davies' partner Brian Carroll walked behind the engine carrying his best friend and partner's helmet. They had both been trapped in the fire last week that killed Davies, which was reported as arson.
Sad memories brought back from 12 years ago when six firefighters lost their lives in the Worcester Cold Storage Warehouse fire. I remember six Masses and six funeral processions back then, too. Jon Davies worked out of the firehouse that had been built on the site of the Cold Storage fire. He and his partner were part of Rescue 1 and ran into the building because they thought someone was in there. No one was.
So, Worcester got its heart broken again.
My father seriously considered joining the Fire Department after he got out of the Army where he served in the Korean War as a front-line soldier and paratrooper. He would have fit in with that brotherhood.
I guess it's why a show like Emergency resonates with me much more than just entertainment. Sure, it's part Hollywood, but it did show how these blue-collar guys work hard and risk their lives on a regular basis for pay that won't exactly put them in a high tax bracket.
There's always human interaction and the passing of years, scandals like firefighters involved in disability scams and acrimonious contract negotiations but in the end, this is what firefighting is about: bravery and self-sacrifice. Mr. Davies is an organ donor and will be saving people even after death.
RIP, Jon Davies.