Children whose heroic fathers died fighting with flames share a teddy bear during the emotional state memorial
Bounded by a tragedy: children whose heroic fathers both died fighting a bears during an emotional memorial service in honor of the 25 people who killed this bushfire season
- Children of two volunteer firefighters who were killed in December have joined forces in Sydney
- Geoffrey Keaton and Andrew O’Dwyer lost their lives when a boom hit their tanker
- Public state monument on Sunday to recognize toll of unprecedented fires
The young children of two volunteer firefighters killed during the Australian horror bushfire season shared a teddy bear during a gripping memorial.
The public memorial in Sydney’s Olympic Park was held on Sunday to recognize the devastating toll of the unprecedented fires that tore through New South Wales.
Thousands of houses have been damaged or destroyed and since October 25 people have died in the NSW fires.
Harvey Keaton, son of RFS volunteer Geoffrey Keaton, and Charlotte O’Dwyer, daughter of deceased volunteer Andrew O’Dwyer sharing a teddy bear during the Bushfire State Memorial at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney on Sunday
RFS volunteer Geoffrey Keaton’s son Harvey and the daughter of his truck mate Andrew O’Dwyer, Charlotte, shared a moving moment while holding hands to the service
The loved ones of victims of the Australian bushfire crisis inspect a tribute during the state monument on Sunday
RFS volunteer Geoffrey Keaton’s son Harvey and the daughter of his truck mate Andrew O’Dwyer, Charlotte, shared a moving moment when they unified during an emotional service at Qudos Bank Arena.
Keaton and O’Dwyer died on December 19 when a boom hit their tanker in Buxton, southwest of Sydney, while Samuel McPaul died on December 30 when the truck he drove east of Albury crashed.
NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons says that every death serves as a tragic reminder of the summer of horror.
“Each of these is a story of sorrow, of deep loss and great sorrow, of lives being broken down and of families being changed forever,” he told the memorial.
“To the families and loved ones of those who are lost and who are here today, we know that your hearts have broken in recent months and we are truly blessed that you have taken the trouble to be here today.”
Firefighters from all over the state were among the hundreds of people who traveled to the Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney for the monument.
Harvey Keaton and Charlotte O’Dwyer play together for the service. NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said that every death was a reminder of a horrific summer for forest fires
Fire boots representing the six RFS and Coulson Aviation firefighters killed in the recent forest fire on stage during the Bushfire State Memorial
Six sets of boots were symbolically placed at the monument to the three American airmen who died in a firefighting aircraft accident near Cooma and the three RFS volunteers who died in a fire.
Captain Ian McBeth, first officer Paul Clyde Hudson and flight engineer Rick DeMorgan Jr. were killed when their C130 water bombing tanker crashed northeast of Cooma on January 23.
“It was selfless individuals who paid the ultimate price while serving and protecting others in their local communities and communities, much further away,” said Fitzsimmons.
Geoffrey Keaton, 32, died when his fire truck rolled while fighting the big fire at Green Wattle Creek near the town of Buxton
Andrew O’Dwyer (pictured with his daughter Charlotte) also died of the incident on December 19 last year
Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke of a black summer underlined by grim grief and children kissing their father’s coffins.
“In any case, our firefighters confronted the fire by relying on the love behind them,” he told the monument.
‘We lost firefighters, pilots, farmers and civilians this summer. All in them, even to the end, the DNA of our universal language – I love you. “