29 June 2014

A Legacy in Red

The dedication of the new fire department that my dad served as chief for many years was last Saturday.  It was a beautiful ceremony, with quite a few similarities to the firefighter memorial that they held for my dad.  For that reason, the ceremony was bittersweet.
During the dedication they did all the traditional stuff; the transfer of the flag from one station to the other, the speeches, the ribbon cutting. It was very Hallmark Channel.

Afterward, the crowd broke apart and we met the current fire chief, who is like a son to my dad.
He was teary, which always undoes me.  My mom broke down in tears as well.  There were just so many similarities, I'm sure it wasn't lost on anyone.  Also, to hear your family name referred to is honoring and a little strange.  There wasn't an inch of that fire department that my dad wasn't a part of and it was a big part of my childhood as well.

It's one of the first times that I've actually missed my dad.  He would have loved to have seen how everything turned out; what a great job Brett is doing, the incredible new hall, all of it. 

Brett did something that just undoes me when I think about it.  He had to stay out in the public space to greet everyone but told us to go look in his office first thing, before we saw anything else.  We did and it was just one of the nicest things that I think anyone has ever done. 

Prominently, the first thing you see entering his office are these:

The photo on the left is my dad in the old restored engine.  He was the marshal in the local parade shortly before he died.  He was so proud and happy that day.  The one on the right is before the parade, posing with Brett's sons who are nearly grown now.  Both of them were flag presenters at Dad's memorial and again at the dedication.

The dedication was just a really good example of two things: life goes on and that people do leave a legacy behind, whether they know it or not.

No comments: