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A Look Back: The Final Goodbye To Tim Smith

 Around Town, Home, Latest News, Police & Fire  Comments Off on A Look Back: The Final Goodbye To Tim Smith
Jan 282020
 

(photo submitted by Kirk Kolligian)

Saturday, Jan. 25, the day of Tim Smith’s funeral.

Note: short video clip links are highlighted in red

As cars and first responders’ vehicles filled the parking lot at Holy Infant Church, Mother Nature gave us hope that she’d show a little mercy, until 9:18 a.m. when it began to drizzle. 

Around 9:35 a.m. the rain was so fine that it was almost unnoticeable as Firemen, police officers, EMTs and other first responders from countless cities and towns lined up along the driveway in front of the church with assorted honor guards, and waited.

Three CT Drum and Bagpipe units lined up on the lawn across from the church.

Inside Holy Infant Church, mourners sat quietly and listened. Then the sound of the police motorcycles leading the funeral procession could be heard as they motored up Racebrook Road and turned into the side street under the arch from the ladder trucks displaying a large American Flag. They proceeded through the rear parking lot followed by a police SUV, vehicles from the Fire Marshal’s office, the Muster Truck carrying Tim’s body, and all of the emergency vehicles in the procession.  When the motorcycles reached the front of the church the last of the fire trucks in the procession were entering under the flag. 

The distinctive sound of the bagpipes permeated the air as the pallbearers reached up to remove the casket from the truck, then in perfect unison, all three units began to play, the bass drums keeping time as they carried the casket into the church. Click HERE for video.

Someone from the fire service carried Tim’s turnout gear to the front of the church where it was carefully placed on display. Firefighters escorted Tim’s family members to the front pews and the mass of the Christian Burial began.

A friend read heartfelt tributes from Tim’s girlfriend, Terri and girls, followed by Deputy Fire Marshal Jamie Vincent’s thoughtfully crafted eulogy.

Jamie held his emotions together the best he could as he shared humorous snippets from their experiences over the years, both as friends and professionally. A little thing, like a description of how Tim would greet visitors to his office, by removing his glasses, leaning back in his chair, and so on, brought so many back to happier days.

We could only imagine how unbearably painful it was for Jamie to respond to the accident scene just six days prior, knowing that this was not just any victim, only to have Fire Chief Sean Rowland have all of the first responders line up to make way for him. Jamie thanked Rowland and everyone who was there for this thoughtful gesture.

A short time later, inside the church, came the heartbreaking final alarm, transmitted by the Orange Police Dispatcher. First a tone, then the message, captured at the end of Amy Williams’ video (her father, Art, an Orange firefighter, saved it on his radio).

“All units be advised that car 39, Fire Marshal Tim Smith has responded to his final alarm and is now off the air. Fire Marshal Smith, your service to the citizens of Orange, the Orange Fire Marshal’s office and your loving dedication to your family and friends will not be forgotten. God Speed Tim, we’ll take the watch from here.”

I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to say there wasn’t a dry eye in the church, but by then I was outside.

The air seemed a bit more chilly and the sky began to cry, still not a downpour, but it was definitely more uncomfortable. Prior to taking their places on the lawn, the bagpipers exited the building together and made sure everything would be perfect for the final farewell. Moments later first responders came out of the church and began to line up along the driveway. Traffic on Racebrook Road slowed down as it passed the church grounds.

Everyone snapped to attention and saluted, and the bagpipes began their sad song, when the pallbearers emerged from the shelter of the church and awning and slowly walked to the muster truck, some were stoic while others choked back tears before lifting the casket onto the truck. The men and women lining the driveway slowly lowered their arms but remained at attention. Click HERE for video. Strains of Amazing Grace permeated the air and it was time to say goodbye.

After the pallbearers settled into the vehicles, the first responders and bagpipe units snapped to attention again.  The muster truck and its escorts slowly pulled away, leaving those who knew Tim behind with nothing but their memories and hearts filled with love.

“Every Life is noted and is cherished, and nothing loved is ever lost or perished.” — Madeleine L’Engle

 

PHOTOS: Memorial Day Cemetery Service

 Amity High School, Around Town, Home, Latest News, Police & Fire, School News  Comments Off on PHOTOS: Memorial Day Cemetery Service
May 252015
 

IMG_5064Every year, the Orange Memorial Day Ceremony at the gazebo sees more and more people. The parade route is always crowded — That’s a given. But it’s taken many years to get parade-goers to make the short walk down to the Orange Center Cemetery for the brief and solemn service when the parade is over.

This year, it was nice to see a larger than normal crowd gathered in the street and on the hill in front of Mary L Tracy School to be part of this important part of the Memorial Day program.

Those who fought for the freedom we enjoy are the reason we celebrate Memorial Day, and it’s good to see more people realizing that.

Photos: Memorial Day Cemetery Ceremony

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May 262014
 

IMG_7742A large crowd attended the Memorial Day ceremony at the gazebo on Sunday morning and nearly every inch of Orange Center Road was filled with parade-goers.

The weather was perfect, and event organizers were pleased with the turn-out, but the one thing veterans and military families wanted more than anything was for everyone to follow the parade route down to the Orange Center Cemetery for what is considered the most important part of the day, a brief ceremony honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

This year saw perhaps the biggest crowd to ever attend this ceremony. Highlights included laying memorial wreaths at the stone of the unknown soldier, a “21” gun salute, bagpipers playing “Amazing Grace” and Amity High Student Eli Baum playing Taps.

If you missed the Cemetery Ceremony, keep in mind that Memorial Day honors of those who died protecting our freedom. Make it a point to stay around after the parade next year and spend 10 extra minutes at this solemn event to honor those who gave their all for us.