Well, we had the visitation and the funeral. Both were held at our fire station. The visitation was Thursday night from 5-8 pm but we had so many people we had to extend it another 30 minutes. There literally was a constant line coming and going in and out of our station that took the entire 3 and a half hours to die down.
The funeral today was awesome. First, the Sheriff's Office did a tribute to him over the fire radio. Then the funeral started after an hour of visitation before. There literally was roughly 400+ people there. We had an hour of visitation prior to the service and then the service itself, which was led by a family friend who is a pastor. The procession to the cemetary was amazing. We had a ladder truck parked at the entrance to the cemetary with a flag attached to the ladder which was fully extended. There was 3 fire trucks (There was 4 different departments represented from these trucks) leading the Patriot Riders (motorcycle group that escorts funerals and stuff). Then the pallbearer car was behind them (I was in this car) then the hearse followed by the family and all friends. B/t the Sheriff deputies and the full procession we had to easily cover a good half mile, if not closer to a full mile. There was that many people. People had to park on the grass to fit everyone in the cemetary. I was a pallbearer, along with one of my brothers, 2 friends of Steven's, the guy that got him his UPS job and 3 of our firefighters.
Once we carried the casket to the grave, there was a few more words spoken by the pastor then we had the city fire department honor guard take the flag we had draped over the casket and fold it up. They then saluted my brother and presented the flag to my mother and salute the family. Then they said a little thing about a bell ringing when firefighters start an assignment and then a bell rings 3 times after an assignment is complete. They then said Steven's assignment has been completed and they rang a bell 3 times. Then they had the taps being played on the bagpipes (guy had a kilt on and all) to close the ceremony out. Also, after the ceremony was over the president of the Alabama Association of Volunteer Fire Departments came over to me to offer his condolences and said my brother was a hero and it was an honor to attend his funeral to salute his legacy. He also gave me a pin and a patch to put on my uniform. We then went back to our station for a reception.
It was the most amazing funeral, one I full heartedly believe he would have been truely proud of. Now the slow healing process can begin.
When I will get back into playing FFXI, Idk. I'll see.
Edited, Nov 14th 2008 11:38pm by Beej
75BLM/75WAR/COP,TAU,Zilart all completed