It can be easy to see a servicemember in uniform and approach them to say “Thanks”. Don’t forget those heroes at home that you may take for granted. If you have forgotten 9-11 then don’t forget the number of Firefighters who lost their lives that day(343). Below is a recent story we shouldn’t forget! Here is to all of the heroes in the states, don’t let it take a tragedy to make you want to thank them! Semper Fi-Maj Pain

Two devoted family men who wore a "permanent smile" and loved their fire service lives were remembered Friday at a "Celebration of Life" Memorial in Concord.

Contra Costa County firefighters Matthew Burton and Scott Desmond gave their lives in the line of duty July 21st in a rescue attempt during a devastating house fire in San Pablo that also took the lives of two citizens. "It’s appropriate that this is a ‘Celebration of Life’ because nobody knew how to celebrate life better than Matt and Scott," said an emotional Ron Walker, President of Contra Costa County Professional Firefighters Local 1230. "When you were with them, you knew two things — one, that they’d be smiling, and the other, that they’d make you smile, too."

Burton, a 35-year-old captain, and Desmond, a 37-year-old engineer, were the first traumatic line-of-duty-deaths in the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District’s history.

Brothers Burton and The two men were honored with a 10-mile long apparatus procession that included vehicles from across California. Oregon and Washington. The procession was followed by a solemn service at the Sleep Train Pavilion at Concord.

Roughly five-thousand people, including some 2,500 uniformed firefighters came to pay their respects, some from as far away as Boston and New York. The ceremony that included presentations from Contra Costa County Fire Chief Keith Richter and IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger.It takes a tragedy like [the San Pablo fire] to remind us of the awe-inspiring actions like those of Matt and Scott, who come to the rescue when everything is going wrong," General President Schaitberger said, addressing their surviving families. "It is in these dark moments that the rest of the world sees what you have seen every day … courage, honor, sacrifice and selfless service to their communities."

Presiding over the service was California Professional Firefighters President Lou Paulson. Paulson is an active fire captain with Contra Costa County and knew and worked alongside Burton and Desmond for most of their careers.

"If we could turn back the clock to last Saturday, everyone here would do it in hopes of getting Matt and Scott out in time," Paulson said. "We can’t turn back the clock, but we can celebrate their lives."The ceremony also featured vocalist Eve Gmeiner and the Contra Costa Children’s Choir. The Pipes and Drums of the California Professional Firefighters provided the traditional firefighter musical tribute, in an emotional rendition of "Amazing Grace" that brought tears to many eyes.

At the end, in accordance with fire service tradition, the two heroes were honored with "The Last Alarm".

Their duty well done … they are going home.

Original story here http://www.cpf.org/default/whats_new/burtondesmond_memorial_ceremony/


  1. Another great post, Major, despite the tears it generates. We are so lucky that heroes like this exist. When we think our world has gone totally down the tubes we need only think of those who put themselves in harms way for the greater good of others whether it is in this country or overseas.Our thanks to them, their families and friends will never be enough.

  2. Our Fire Fighters are truly Our Guardian Angels.
    It is truly a Blessing to have had a Fire Fighter as a Parent.
    We are very proud of him as his name is read every year from the IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Wall in CO.

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