Gone but not forgotten: Honor and Respect
Aug 21, 2013 | 1391 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
To the Editor:

It’s hard losing a loved one.

He's our father, husband, grandfather, brother, uncle, cousin, retired fire chief, a role model, and a friend.

Dealing with the arrangements and emotions of his passing were hard enough. However, making it honorable was made possible by so many friends and family.

The Bayonne Fire Department, Chief Rogers, Mayor Smith, former Mayor Rutkowski, the priest at St. Henry's Church, and O'Brien’s funeral home (especially Philip O'Brien) did a fantastic job in honoring our dad.

Every firefighter who attended individually paid their respects and comforted mom. They had a fire engine that our father rode in while on duty stationed with us at all times, with firefighters to guard. We cherished the stories each one told us.

Not once did we feel it was a formality. It was brotherhood. Along with the Honor Guard present (we'll never forget your faces), the Bayonne Korean War Veterans, Mackenzie Post American Legion and the Disabled American Veterans, each paid tribute in honoring his service to them and the community. John's fellow firefighters lined up at both City Hall and Saint Henry’s Church for his final farewell. A bagpiper played his song as his casket was taken into church. Police and fire escort made their way to North Arlington, his final resting place. The most amazing thing was leaving the cemetery, thanking the firefighters and honor guards and receiving the response, “It was an honor!" Watching all that went on taught us a lesson along the way; he will be gone but NEVER forgotten! We cannot begin to express our sincerest thank you and appreciation to each and every employee of the fire department, the honor guards, the veterans, and each and every person who paid their respects to our family. Your warmth and support made our day slightly easier.


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