Friday, March 07, 2008

Firefighter Brad Holmes Funeral and Procession Information

Funeral home visitation will be held at the Cunningham Funeral Home at 306 Bessemer Ave., Grove City, PA 16127 Mercer County, at the following times: 2-4 p.m. and 6-9 p.m. Friday.

There will be a Fire Fighter Memorial Service also on Friday at Cunningham Funeral Home at 7 p.m. Fire Departments wishing to send representatives to the Fire Fighter Memorial Services should assemble at the Fellowship Community Church at 309 North Broad St., Grove City, PA 16127, no later than 6:15 p.m. Participants will proceed via group foot procession to the funeral home (4 blocks).

Fire departments wishing to send representatives to the funeral on March 8 should arrive at the Grove City College Physical Learning Center (PLC) no later than 12 p.m. on Saturday.

Departments sending apparatus are requested to call Mercer County Department of Public Safety at 724-662-6100 ext. 2440 with number of units and personnel.

Brad, 21, is survived by his parents, Joseph and Debbie Holmes, a brother Christopher Holmes, and his fiancée, Alisha Graham.

If you are coming, please carpool and come early.

We're estimating 2000-3000 people coming to our town (GC only has 8000 people) and at least 200 fire trucks. We're busy working out the logistics...

Fire trucks will line up on Madison Ave behind GCC. They will continue down Madison to Lincoln Ave, then line up on Lincoln going west toward Broad St.

The procession will go along Madison to East Main St, heading west. It will then turn north onto Broad St and continue through downtown. At College Ave will be two ladder trucks with their ladders raised in salute hoisting an American flag. Once down Broad, the trucks will continue out of town. The local trucks will pull into the cemetary for a private service and the out-of-town trucks will continue to I-80 for dispersal.

I'm not a member of the fire community, but it is awe-inspiring from my "fly-on-the-wall" view. It is sad, but impressive to see the way they all hold up each other in their time of need.

Many thanks to the other firefighters from around the region who came to the station as backup to allow the VFW to go to the hospital. Also, thanks to the firefighters who just came to support the family. The city of Pittsburgh always had a representative at the hospital. Kudos to them.

A memorial fund has been established at the Northwest Savings Bank at 200 S. Center St., Grove City, PA 16127. Donations can be sent to: Firefighter Brad Holmes Memorial Fund.

Donations can also be made to the Grove City Foundation, 209 West Pine St, Grove City, 16127. GC Wal-Mart is accepting donations, too.

Also, for the people who lost their possessions, The Larry Smith Donation Fund and the Patty Dilley Donation Fund have been set up at Citizens Bank. Donations may be made at any Citizens Bank branch.

I'd also like to publicly thank all of the businesses in the area that have rallied around the VFW. Lots of companies have been donating food to all of the visitors from around the region. I don't want to try to name them - I'm sure I'll forget some.

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