JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Remembering those who gave all.
This weekend, three Jacksonville firefighters who died in the line of duty last year were honored at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland.
They are Captain Thomas Barber, Lieutenant Mario Moya, and Engineer Michael Freeland. Their names were added to the wall.
Randy Wyse, president of the local firefighters union, knew them all.
“It’s not something you want to do. But when it does happen, obviously, you want to pay homage to those that gave that gave it all,” said Randy Wyse, Jacksonville Association of Firefighters.
Lieutenant Mario Moya died from COVID-19.
At the ceremony Sunday, their names were read aloud.
Their loved ones were there to accept the flags. Wyse says the way these men died is a reminder of the many dangers firefighters face.
“These weren’t real high-risk calls. And to experience that, it really brings it home that you know, it doesn’t take these big building fires, or active shooters or things like that, to risk your life. It’s those simple calls, that we’re risking our lives every day,” he said.
With this memorial, Wyse says it’s never losing a firefighter never gets easier. But he hopes people understand their selfless sacrifice.
“October is a fire prevention month. And it’s just kind of when all this happens. And again, it’s just a time to reflect on the sacrifices some of our members made and do our best to not let it happen again,” Wyse said.