Fallen firefighters remembered in Coralville

CORALVILLE, Iowa (KWQC) -- Honoring fallen firefighters, the state of Iowa paid its respect to those who gave all including Clinton firefighter Lieutenant Eric Hosette.

Sunday morning in Coralville, fire departments, and families came from all across to pay tribute. They honored past, present, and future brothers and sisters that wear the thin red line.

They marched with purpose and in solidarity remembering the names of those who gave all.

“Honoring those that have served for our communities and some of them have laid their life down and given it for their service for others,” said Fire Chief Brad Burken, Charlotte Fire Department.

As their names that were etched upon the memorial walls were called. Wreaths were laid by families and the emotions could be felt by all.

“Can be one of healing, one can be one of remembrance and it also can be there to honor all of our brothers and sisters that have gone before us,” said Gene Evan, Iowa Firefighters Association Vice President.

Many in the room know too well of the sacrifices that have been made. This year, the Clinton Fire Department said goodbye to one of their own. Lt. Eric Hosette died while on duty in late January.

“It's pretty surreal, I mean it's something you never hope to have to do and of course you do. So we are here to honor Eric and we are here to honor his family,” said Fire Chief Mike Brown, Clinton Fire Department.

An honor that goes well beyond the department they served.

“My dad was a firefighter and he died of cancer in 2007,” said Katie Sauser, who lost her father.

When you're a firefighter, you're not alone, you become family.

“It's really nice and it means a lot so they're not forgotten,” said Sauser.

A final salute to those who gave all.

As of June 2019, there are a total of 2,954 names on the memorial wall. 152 are engraved on the ultimate sacrifice wall. Four names of firefighters that died in the line of duty were added to the wall this year.

George Andrews and Robert Love of Iowa City Rescue Hook & Ladder Co. died in the line of duty on April 28, 1873. These names were recently brought to the association’s attention. Tom Henrich of Earling, IA Fire Department died at the scene of a fire on October 20, 2018, and Eric Hosette of Charlotte died while on duty with the Clinton Fire Department on January 5, 2019.