The mild early October weather provided a clear backdrop for the 2018 Columbus Division of Firefighters Memorial Service.
It’s a simple tradition that allows first responders to honor those who have answered their last alarm.
Columbus Division of Fire Chief Kevin O’Connor says it’s a time to remember, reminisce, and honor.
“It’s sad you’ve lost the person and you can never see them again, but you know the reputation that they left for the organization is better, and we’re trying to pass that along to every member in the organization, how they can do that same thing,” says Chief O’Connor.
Fire lost 29 members within the last year, although they have been retired. Each one was important and devoted to their calling, like Dennis Long, a 30-year veteran who passed away in March leaving behind adult children and a wife, Alice Long.
“He was a very humble man and he didn’t even look at his accomplishments it was what they could do as a team as a company,” she said.
That dedication filters through his son, Grant Long, who is a current member of the Whitehall Fire Department.
“There’s a time and place, the time is sad, and he’s in a nicer place in heaven,” said Grant Long.
Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther summed it up when he said, “we thank you for your service and we honor all that you do for this great community, God bless you and your families.”