ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Flags flew and music played during an emotional ceremony honoring firefighters who died last year in the line of duty.
Eight names of fallen firefighters were inscribed on the Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Albany. The tribute meant so much more to their families.
Kathi Bristol wiped her eyes and squeezed her grandson Alex’s hand as her husband’s name was called.
“My husband was such a dedicated person no matter what he did in his life,” she said. “Be it family, friends, his brotherhood of the firefighters.”
Kevin Bristol was a city of Peekskill firefighter for more than 20 years. He died in 2014.
“He worked 38 hours straight; came home and died of a heart attack,” Kathi said.
Apart from his service, Kevin was remembered as a loving grandfather.
“He would say, ‘Those boys are mine. Those little boys are mine,’” Kathi said. “My heart aches that he’s not going to be there for all their special occasions.”
His daughter-in-law Dana Summers vowed to make sure Alex would still know his grandfather.
She took Alex to the national memorial earlier in the week. She told her son he could come back any time he wants.
“He says, ‘When I’m big I’m going to get in the car and drive here and see Papa Kuku’s name myself,’” she said.
The family was overwhelmed with emotion at the dedication.
“You use their wonderful memories and their light to go on,” Summers said.
Kathi said having Kevin’s name engraved on the memorial is a great honor, and she encourages anyone to join their local fire department who has the desire to do so.