On NJ’s highways today: Tribute to a fallen firefighter Marine
Firefighters and other first-responders across New Jersey are honoring a member of the U.S. Marines and the FDNY on his journey home.
A police-escorted funeral procession carrying the remains of Staff Sgt. Christopher Slutman left Dover Air Force Base in Delaware Monday morning. It traveled north on Route 95, across the Delaware Memorial Bridge and north on the New Jersey Turnpike to New York City.
The procession rode north on the inner lanes of the Turnpike with all other traffic in the outer lanes.
Slutman, 43, was a 15-year veteran of the FDNY. He and two other members of a Massachusetts-based Marine reserve unit were killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan on April 8.
"It was very difficult to coordinate exactly how and how many but the word went out all up and down the New Jersey Turnpike where there's an overpass there should some type of first responder whether it be a police officer, firefighter, EMT, over that overpass paying their respects to that soul that we lost," Dominick Marino, president of the International Firefighers Association, told New Jersey 101.5.
Marino said it's a sign of respect for a family member and the brotherhood & sisterhood of the firefighting community.
"They're our brothers and sisters. We live with each other 24, 48 hours. We eat together, it's extended family. It's our way of paying respects for individuals who made the ultimate sacrifice whether it be in a fire or now, with our members being deployed in the military, being killed overseas," Marino said.
Edward Donnelly, president of the Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association, was proud of his members who came out on Monday.
"I'm proud that the New Jersey contingent stepped up today and definitely covered what we needed to cover today and pay their respects this young man deserves," Donnelly said.
Slutman is survived by a wife and three daughters.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report
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