After a great morning at the St. Patrick’s Day parade, I was honored to have lunch with CFD Battalion Chief Phillip Hawkins and friends as we marked “Big Daddy’s” retirement from the department. Much can be said for Phil and I just wanted to take a minute to share my personal feelings about this good man. He and I met many years ago when we were both very young and quite ambitious about our fire service careers. We've faced much together over the years, the heartbreak of losing loved ones and many of our friends, and happier times such as raising our children and the birth of our grandchildren. We have fought many, many fires, both literally and figuratively, celebrated promotions and accomplishments, made a bunch of mistakes, and enjoyed our triumphs. But most importantly, through all of these years, we have remained friends and brothers. I have never been more proud to call someone my brother and I can only hope that all of you experience true brotherhood or sisterhood during your lives. It is not something that just happens; it must be developed and earned. You must pay it forward in order to reap its’ benefits and it cannot be traded or sold. To my brother, Phil, I wish you the very best in your retirement and will continue to look forward to our weekly meetings. Take care of yourself and enjoy your new grandson. We have reached a new time in our lives and I expect we will do well.