Saturday, August 25, 2012

Tribute to a Hero

Yesterday as I drove into Morehead, Kentucky, I noticed a line of parked firetrucks and ambulances along the road beside Northcutt & Sons Funeral Home.  Parked on the other side of the street were state, county, and city police cars lining the ditch.  Of course, seeing so many emergency vehicles immediately catches one's attention.  About one mile down the highway I came around a curve and was stunned to see a firefighter truck parked at the side of the road with its ladder fully extended.  Hanging from the cherry picker was one of the largest American Flags I've ever seen.  They had the flag stretched out over the highway between several vehicles.

I continued driving but an hour later I headed back.  Dozens of cars now lined both sides of the highway.  People stood outside their vehicles watching and waiting.  When I reached the red light near the funeral home I noticed a firefighter standing at the corner of the intersection.  He stood at attention while saluting, and like a robot, he slowly and stiffly lowered the salute.  A few seconds later, he mechanically raised his hand to salute again.  I looked over my shoulder.  On top of the hill at the funeral home were four firefighters placing a flag-draped casket onto the back of a firetruck.  They lowered the casket and stood at attention.  One of their own had fallen.

Such an outpouring of respect and tribute is touching.  There are no words when you see so many people bestowing honor to a hero.  Not knowing who the procession was for, I researched for information and discovered who the hero was.

He was a thirty-year old firefighter captain.  His name: Joshua Eugene Ferguson.  Read more about him here: Joshua-Eugene-Ferguson.  RIP and thanks for living an honorable life the way you did.  You touched many lives, and we salute you.  God bless you and yours.  Forever and always.


Leonard D. Hilley II

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