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Kentucky Men Honored As Firefighters

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  • Kentucky Men Honored As Firefighters

    We Weren't There ...But We Will Be

    Published on Sunday, October 15, 2006 - 11:14 PM


    It was in Fairview Hollow -- in Harlan County, Kentucky -- March 16, 1965. As Kentucky Division of Forestry firefighters fought a raging forest fire, three became trapped by the fire and were overrun by flames. Two died that day. The third succumbed to his injuries the following morning.

    All three firefighters were memorialized by their families and friends in what were described as "typical" funerals. But none were honored as firefighters ...or even as individuals who made the supreme sacrifice "so that others might live."



    In impoverished Harlan County in 1965, one firefighter's family was able to purchase a headstone. A marker for another was provided by the V.A. because of his prior military service. But the family of the third could not afford one. Therefore, for over 41 years, Kentucky Division of Forestry Firefighter James "Buck" Shepherd has been lying in an unmarked grave. (A small "stick" marker was provided by the cemetery, but it disappeared long ago.)

    On Thursday, October 26th (1:00 P.M. EDT), that will change as we place a headstone at Firefighter Shepherd's grave -- a headstone commemorating his service and sacrifice and status of "hero." We will also render a long overdue tribute to all three heroes who perished in Fairview Hollow "so that others might live." All three families will be there with us. (The three graves are near one another in the same cemetery.)

    As a SUPPORTING HEROES member, you will indeed "be there" when we place the stone and honor these three heroes. However, it is our hope that many of you will be able to make the trip and be part of the tribute.

    There are several messages that we will be sending that day. One is an acknowledgement to all that what these men lived and died for was important and each are worthy of our respect -- as well as all others who routinely risk their lives in service to their communities. Another is that we truly "never forget."

    Please let me know if you will be able to join us there and especially if you and/or your agency will be able to assist in the tribute.

    Eric W. Johnson
    National Executive Director

    Forgotton hero's will be honored thanks to this group!

    Thank You

    From a Kentucky Firefighter! Keep up the good work!
    Last edited by coldfront; 10-26-2006, 08:50 AM.
    Always a day late and a dollar short!

    Hillbilly Irish!

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