Phoenix firefighter Brad Harper laid to rest


by Jason Volentine

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonvolentine

Posted on May 25, 2013 at 8:26 AM

Updated Tuesday, May 28 at 1:16 PM

Map: Firefighter killed

View larger map

PHOENIX -- The City of Phoenix said a final farewell to a fallen firefighter. Brad Harper was laid to rest at Greenwood/Memory Cemetery in Phoenix on Friday.

Harper, 23, was killed May 19 after being pinned between a fire truck and an ambulance.

Nearly 1,000 firefighters from across the United States and Canada were in attendance.

At Christ’s Church of the Valley, firefighters and other first responders lined up to salute Harper’s family as they were escorted into the church. Clad in full dress uniforms, the fingertips of white-gloved first responders rigidly pointed toward the brows of serious faces as pallbearers carried the America flag draped casket out of the church.

“You will have the support of the entire Phoenix Fire Department forever and I've seen this. We will not forget you and we will not forget Brad. I can promise you that," Phoenix Fire Chief Bob Khan told Harper’s family while speaking at the ceremony.

Harper’s casket was placed on top of engine 21 and a procession of more than 100 fire vehicles from across the state delivered him across the Valley to his final resting place in Phoenix.

At the cemetery, traditional bagpipes played and the bell tolled from atop the firefighter memorial tower. A lone helicopter peeled off from a pack of five during a flyover, symbolizing the fallen firefighter.

"It was a privilege to be Brad's best friend for the last 10 years and also one of his co-workers. We shared the same dream,” said Bobby Priest, a close friend and coworker of Harper.

Harper leaves behind a wife who was his high school sweetheart.