Sunday, January 22, 2012

Chaplain Hollywood

I was installed as chaplain of the David Crockett Steam Fire Company No. 1 on January 7, 2012.

Here are my pictures from the installation.

David Crockett is the oldest continuously operating volunteer fire company in the United States.  As Mayor Harris pointed out, Crockett has not merely met monthly since its founding in 1841, the company has provided uninterrupted 24-7 fire protection on a volunteer basis to the City of Gretna since that time - absolutely without interruption!

This is extraordinary, especially considering the rough ride Gretna has been through in the last 171 years: the War Between the States, federal occupation, two world wars (keep in mind Gretna's German heritage), the Great Depression, and numerous hurricanes.  Through all of these catastrophes and upheavals, David Crockett has not even shut down for one second.

Crockett also has not just a sterling record but a well-earned reputation for excellence and diligence.

The annual installation was a joyful celebration that had many high points, such as the swearing in of officers, the mayor's speech, the address by the state fire marshal, and the acknowledgment of fifty years of perfect attendance by Anthony Labruzza.  The meal was excellent, and fitting to such an auspicious occasion.  I also got to meet the Rev. Frank Carabello, the retired pastor of our good neighbor St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, having served there for thirty years.

I am very grateful to fire service veterans treasurer Lynn Coyne (who invited me) and president Gordon Carbo (who appointed me).  I'm also grateful to LCMS chaplain the Rev. Dean Kavouras of Cleveland, Ohio, who serves as police, fire, and FBI chaplain, for his advice to me and also for his wonderful book (published by the Lutheran Heritage Foundation) chronicling his chaplaincy work in the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001: Nine One One The Aftermath: The Word Works.

I'm looking forward to supporting the men who protect Gretna from fire and other disasters.

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