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The People: Derek Rogers

I’ve had the privilege of becoming a member of this fantastic extended family. I talk to these guys all over the United States every day. Boston, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles. I see these guys every year. It’s not an event; it’s just being able to see your friends and family again.

Honour Guards across North America make up a relatively small, self contained community. The same members regularly come across each other at events and memorials throughout the year. Senior Firefighter and Acting Lieutenant Derek Rogers values the creation of an international family as one of the high spots of Guard duty.

Honour Guards in casual dress prepare to march in memorial procession, with backs to camera, holding colourful flags. In the background are mountains.

Honour Guards from across North America prepare for the 2014 IAFF Memorial procession.

Attending events such as the IAFF Memorial in Colorado Springs brings a huge community of people together for a carefully crafted ceremony, uniting the firefighting family with the families of those who lost their lives. That fear that any colleague could be lost at any time makes it all the more important to celebrate the lives of the fallen and their loved ones.

Throughout his time on the Guard, Derek has gained close friends from across Canada and the U.S. – friendships occurring solely out of his participation in the Honour Guard. Being able to travel across North America to develop these friendships, and celebrate the lives of firefighters everywhere, allows him to share experiences and stories in a community of people who share the same values.

View this video with a transcript: Derek Rogers