The recent tragedies and our losses in the North American fire service has promted me with the desire to share the following. And this last one, brother Wheatley from Chicago, I'll tribute him in this post.
For those who aren't aware, there are two major - national fallen firefighter memorials each year. One is the IAFF fallen firefighter memorial that's held out in Colorado Springs Colorado that memorializes IAFF fallen firefighters --> http://www.iaff.org/hs/ffm/thisyear/index.aspx ....
And the other is at the national fire academy in Emmittsburg Maryland, that memorializes all firefighters career and volunteer ----> http://www.firehero.org/
For the last seven years, I've been attending both, and then attending my state's fallen firefighter memorial.
Not everyone is able to attend a firefighters funeral. If you have the opportunity and the time, please try to attend one of these memorials and / or your own state memorial.
If you've never been to one, I can assure you that it means a great deal to the families. So much so that there are people in our calling, that continuously go back year after year, even if they don't have one of their own going up on one of the walls.
If you can't make brother Wheatley's funeral in Chicago, he'll most likely be memorialized next year at both Colorado Springs, and Emmittsburg.
God Bless Brother Wheatley and Rest His Soul. Bless his family and the Chicago Fire Department.