Fallen Firefighters Honored in Charleston, SC

By: Claire Leka, CBS News
By: Claire Leka, CBS News

Charleston, SC (WVLT/CBS) - Today is a day of mourning in Charleston, South Carolina, as the nine firefighters lost earlier this week are honored during a memorial service.

As Claire Leka reports, thousands of firefighters from near and far, including several firefighters from Knoxville, have come to pay their respects.

A solemn procession of grief and solidarity, as thousands of firefighters from across the nation and Canada gather in Charleston to pay tribute to nine brethren killed Monday night.

"It always hits home, if it's one person, it hits home. if it's one of brothers, it hits home. And certainly nine is a devastating tragedy,” says retired NYC firefighter Larry Tracy.

Inside the North Charleston Coliseum, family members and well wishers remembered the men lost in a furniture store inferno, the deadliest firefighting tragedy since 9/11.

sot Mayor Joseph Riley / Charleston
"They did what they and every firefighter is prepared to do,” Charleston Mayor Joseph Riley says. “Everyday they put on their badge, to risk their life, and if necessary to give their life to make their community safer."

So many came to honor the fallen firefighters and their families officials set up a jumbo screen outside the Coliseum for those who couldn’t get a seat inside.

"I thought about their families and what they must be going through, having to have somebody pull up in front of their house and tell them that their loved ones weren't coming home to them and what a miserable feeling that must be,” says Dallas firefighter Scott Clumpner.

Numerous prominent dignitaries came to mourn, including several presidential candidates, but officials here in South Carolina promised politics will take a backseat so families and the community can grieve and focus on the firefighters who gave their lives to make the city of Charleston safer.

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  • by melissa walker Location: charleston on Jun 25, 2007 at 12:42 PM
    as a young women who comes from a long line of firefighters my heart breaks to see a fire fighter down. my uncle is a captain over a station 16 were 6 of these wonderful men at died. My heart is broken to see these men and women in tjis much pain. my family looks as if this could have been our family, andf hurts so bad. staying together as a family is what being a fire fighters really means. I just want to say how much my heart goes out to the fire fighters and the familys. may god be with you.
  • by Ronda Boston Location: Jackson, Mississippi on Jun 22, 2007 at 06:44 PM
    Sending my deepest sympathy to the families and friends of the fallen firefighters. May sweet memories comfort your hearts.


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