Thousands gather to honor Worcester firefighter
WORCESTER, Mass. -- Thousands of firefighters from across the state and around the nation were in Worcester Thursday, honoring a firefighter killed last week while searching a burning building.
“The natural truth is we can’t all be leaders, we can’t all be great, we can’t all be like John Davies,” said Davies’ brother, Robert Davies.
Davies’ uniform and helmet sat outside of his firehouse.
“My brother was an amazing man. He was John Davies and his life and his purpose, his character, his final heroic act will live on in the memories of people long after December 8th,” said Robert Davies.
Forty-three-year-old Jon Davies died when he and partner Brian Carroll were trapped as the building collapsed. They were looking for someone believed to be inside who was later found safe.
Carroll held Davies’ helmet as the casket was carried into the Mount Carmel Church. Carroll carried the helmet into the church and placed it on Davies’ casket before the service began.
At the funeral Mass, Carroll gave an emotional eulogy, calling Davies a man with a big heart whom he trusted more than anyone.
The Rev. Walter Riley says Davies' sacrifice changes the community.
State leaders attending included Sens. John Kerry and Scott Brown, Gov. Deval Patrick and Lt. Gov. Tim Murray.
“In his 43 years of life John came to be affectionately known as a big teddy bear, big and serious on the outside with a heart of gold on the inside,” said a speaker at the funeral.
John Davies’ was laid to rest in a private ceremony at St. John’s cemetery in Worcester.
Davies' death came days after the anniversary of the Worcester Cold Storage building fire that killed six firefighters in December 1999.
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