Last week while fighting the 3rd largest fire in California’s recorded history, one of the engine crew’s involved in the fire lost one of their own; a San Diego native. On Sunday (yesterday) his engine crew brought him home along the 15 Freeway heading south.
Me and my wife were treated to a very emotional and visceral experience on the way home yesterday. Starting in San Diego and on EVERY overpass between San Diego and Temecula (where we headed east on backroads),,,,,the men and women from every sort of Emergency Service and ordinary citizens turned up, to Honor the Fallen as he made his final journey to a quiet resting place. Every overpass on the 15 Freeway was covered in Fire Engines, Emergency Vehicles and somber Emergency Crews, waiting patiently. At least 7 different overpasses had huge fire-ladder trucks with cranes extended, with giant American Flags flying between two ladder trucks and another several overpasses had giant American Flags hanging down them,,,,,as if to drape the Fallen Hero as he came underneath. Further along the freeway; as it becomes more rural,,,,larger crowds of citizens were simply pulled over on the exits and entry’s to the overpasses, waiting quietly. As we rolled into Temecula, the police and border patrol had simply shut down a lane on the Southbound side of the freeway,,,,,with at least 40 police motorcycles and 20 police cars sitting in wait,,,,to provide final escort. I’m not sure how much further this went on down the freeway; as we had to turn off onto our own country road to get home. I was struck by the visceral detail of seeing each and every ordinary citizen just standing on their cars or on the side of the road waiting,,,,,along with hundreds of Fire Trucks, Emergency Vehicles and all of their respective Fire Fighters.
To the Fallen; Fair Winds and Following Seas-