Of Honor and Respect

Rhett and I are here in Emmitsburg, Md for the 30th annual National Fallen Firefighter’s Foundation Memorial Weekend.

We made the 4  hour drive up yesterday and checked in around 2pm. It is truly an honor to be here. I’ve said it many times but, honestly; words can not describe what you see and feel at this place. I hope you have the opportunity to attend some day. As you can see, the Buckaroo was excited and ready to make the trip with us but I think he needs a few more years under his belt before I bring him along. Plus, I don’t think he’s even seen his “Paw Paw” cry.

We will shed MANY tears this weekend and justifiably so. Rhett and I have teamed up with John Mitchel once again as Firefighter Netcast to capture some oral history of the fallen. All throughout the weekend, the families (survivors) of the fallen will have the chance to sit down in front of the mic with us and tell some stories about their lost loved ones. We don’t prompt or direct them in any way … they say and talk about whatever they want. To sit, listen  and watch the wives, fathers, mothers, sisters etc reflect and remember the lives of the fallen is humbling to say the least. We capture some AWESOME stories and what an HONOR it is to hear them first hand.

There are all sorts of activities going on this morning.

We are set up and ready to go but the Honor Guard will be practicing all day. It still amazes me how they bring in so many members from Honor Guards all over the Country, mix em all together and have then in step and on time in a matter or hours.

Actually, this entire event is ran that way. The staff and members of the NFFF impliment the Incident Command System and run the weekend as one huge incident. Again, to see this system in action is awe inspiring.

The logistics alone  involved in an event such as this unbelievable, and they do a FANTASTIC job! 

We will update you guys as often as possible and provide “LIVE” video coverage of tonight’s candle light service as well as of tomorrow’s Memorial. We are also placing random photos on our Face Book pages when time allows so please be sure to check those often as well.

See photos of the 2010 Memorial Weekend from Ironfiremen.com by clicking HERE

One thing I’ll share with you real quick (and will hit more on later) is the fact that I’ve located the brick placed in memory of Chief Bobbie Slayton.

Bobbie passed away on January 8, 2011. He was not only my Battalion Chief, he was a great friend and mentor. My dad (now retired) drove Bobbie for several years. I couldn’t help but weep when I found his “Brick”. I hope Pop gets to see it one day … I know he’d be proud.

Read more on Chief Slayton and his passing HERE and HERE .

Bobbie spent most of his career on “B-shift” but for whatever reason, was moved to C-shift in his final years. It was C-shift (my shift) who collected the funds to purchase the memorial brick… THANKS to all who donated!

We are surrounded by friends and family here.

There is a somber feeling but one of unity and Brotherhood as well… I feel at “HOME” on these sacred grounds.

Keep checking back often as we will update whenever possible. You still have time to make the trip, so load up and hit the road… Rhett and I have an extra room that you are welcome to. Hope to see you here … it’s worth the sacrifice and nowhere near as big as the one those we are honoring made.

Captain Wines