Today, the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter, was Grandpa Nick Van Dyken's funeral. I was so touched at the show of support by the fire department and police department of Ripon.
I was pleased to pull up and see "Engine One" from the fire department there behind the hearse; it just seemed right given all his years as chief -
- and when I turned around I saw a squad and a fire engine pull up on the other side with many firemen on board.
And then at least 3 police cars showed up with officers to honor Grandpa as well.
In the picture below the pall bearers are getting their instructions, and the firemen are standing ready to flank them as they walk to the grave site.
Over and over again today I felt so touched at how fire-fighters and police from the City of Ripon turned out to honor Grandpa.
Our last earthly "good-bye" to Grandpa.
After the graveside service Dad talked with some retired firemen who had worked with Grandpa. I overheard a story about Grandpa extricating a boy from an old milk can!
As well as driving Engine One to the church, they had another old fire engine there as well, "Ol' Gertie"
I remember as a kid ONE TIME getting to crank this siren on Ol' Gertie, which, of course, was at Grandpa's house, since he lived at the fire house! It's amazing the sound this little siren can produce!
Caleb and I at the church, standing by Engine One. Unfortunately the rest of my immediate family couldn't be here. Anthony and Jacob are away at college, and David is in Ethiopia on a spring break missions trip.
Ol' Gerie, Engine One and the squad.
Again, just so good to see this support from his old department.
I took the picture below as the luncheon was finishing and breaking up - really nice to see so many there. It was a blessing to feel the support of so many friends and family.
A picture of Grandpa and his fire chief hat -
Next month we gather again to celebrate what would have been his 100th birthday! The celebration has been in the works for months, and family is coming from across the nation. It was realized when this was planned that it might be with or without him present. It did feel a little weird today to say to someone leaving the funeral, "Are you going to be here for his birthday party next month?" It will be a good reunion :-)