WESTLAND, Mich. - Streets were lined with supporters who waved flags and gave salutes Monday morning as the casket carrying fallen Westland firefighter Brian Woehlke made its way to the church.
Woehlke was laid to rest at a 11 a.m. mass at Church of the Divine Child in Dearborn.
Hundreds of firefighters from across the state, and Canada, stood in solidarity outside the church. Those who didn't know Woehlke personally say they knew him in spirit.
"So it's import for us to come out and recognize his sacrifice," said Detroit firefighter Reginald Johnson.
"Well even though we all come from different departments, we all have a common enemy and that's fire," said Detroit Deputy Fie Commissioner Edsel Jenkins.
"We don't recognize boarders as such, their our brothers in the task that they do and we feel the loss everywhere, we're all firefighters," said Toronto Firefighter George Krallk.
"This is what we do. This is what all firefighters do. When one goes down, we all feel the pain. So, it's important for us to come out and recognize his sacrifice," one visiting firefighter told Local 4.
He is survived by his wife, Jennifer, and their young daughter, Ava.
- Ways to donate to family of fallen Westland firefighter
- Malarkey's Irish Pub in Westland is donating 10 percent of their proceeds to the Woehlk's family today and radio station 94.7 has set up a booth outside Malarkey's to collect funds.
Gov. Rick Snyder has ordered U.S. flags lowered at state buildings around Michigan to honor Woehlke.
Snyder said in a statement that Woehlke "is an example of the brave men and women" who protect Michigan communities every day.
Statement from Woehlke family:
"We would like to thank the community for their outpouring of support through this difficult time. The community's generosity in the form of memorial donations, flowers, food, prayers and support are greatly appreciated, more than words can express. He would be humbled by the heart-felt expressions of thoughtfulness and support from his fellow brothers and sisters in the fire service, extended family and the community at-large. Brian fulfilled his lifelong dream of becoming a firefighter when he joined the Wayne Westland Fire Department."
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