Whitesburg KY
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In honor of a fallen firefighter

To the Editor:

What I’m writing to you today is not only in memory of my cousin, Eric D. Back, it’s also to all the men and women of our county who work or volunteer at our fire and rescue departments.

Wednesday, as the funeral procession was taking Eric home to Elk Creek to be buried, all I could feel was sad until we came to the Letcher Fire and Rescue Department where Eric worked for years as an EMT. There were fire trucks upon fire trucks lined up facing the way to Elk Creek. They had all their lights flashing and out in front was set up Eric’s helmet, uniform and tools in honor of their fallen comrade.

I burst into tears of pride for Eric and for all those hardworking people whom Eric loved and was loved by. I thanked God at that moment for Eric and all these workers.

The hearse paused and two ambulances and the police helped escort Eric home. All the way there I cried tears of pride and joy for Eric and for all these rescue workers for giving up this precious moment of peace and love of Eric’s life, not his death.

When the services were over at the gravesite, Gayle Dean Campbell turned up his two-way radio and Eric’s call number was called for the last time. Then the dispatcher said, “Godspeed, Eric” and the radio was silent.

At that moment I felt so much comfort from people I didn’t even know. I owe all of this to the good people such as Gary Rogers, Loye Caudill and all the others who did this for Eric. This family could never thank any of you all enough for being there for Eric through all his sickness, and for the last tribute for one of their own.

Eric was proud of his job and for all his fellow workers who risk their lives for us every day. So to each and every person who helped this tribute happen, I salute you and I thank you for all the comfort you gave us. I know in my heart that Eric thanks you most of all. God bless.


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