Many of us gathered today to pay our last respects to Walter Barrineau, Jr., CFD Retired, and maybe the oldest living member of the department at the time of his passing. As I stood listening to the graveside service, I was moved by the fact that he retired in 1965, before many of us ever joined the fire department and before some of those firefighters in attendance were born. Someone once told me early in my career that we would not be judged by what we brought to the table but instead what we leave behind when we are gone. Walter Barrineau leaves behind a loving family, many friends, and a fire service legacy that includes his son, Gene, and his grandson, Robbie. Gene’s words, at his father’s graveside today, were very touching and Robbie’s bagpipes set a most somber, but appropriate tone. I’m sure he would have been proud of them both.
Just an important, was the showing of respect for him by his CFD brothers, young and old, who stood at attention while our Honor Guard performed their duties with the utmost of care and professionalism. I must tell you that my heart swelled with pride as the long blue line demonstrated that tradition, honor, and brotherhood are alive and well in the CFD.