She refused to leave her late father's side and wore his helmet while playing around it, unaware of how her life had changed forever.
The deadly bushfire in Australia has taken millions of lives and the horrifying turn of events is making the entire world choke up. While the locals, firefighters, volunteers, etc. are trying to bring the situation under control, the memories of the heroes we lost to this natural havoc will never let us forget this ghastly disaster.
An incident from the funeral service of a firefighter who died while on duty surfaced, and it is heartbreaking. Andrew O’Dwyer, a firefighter who lost his life trying to save others' lives in the New South Wales (NSW) town of Buxton was awarded a medal posthumously by the Rural Fire Services and what followed next is the sad reality of the disaster.
His one-year-old daughter Charlotte O’Dwyer accepted the service medal and moments later started playing around her father's coffin. She lay under her father's casket, ate from a chips bag and even wore his helmet for some time, reports The Sun.
Mr. O’Dwyer, 36, died in December when his fire truck rolled while battling the large Green Wattle Creek blaze in the NSW town of Buxton.
Rural Fire Services commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons gave a tear-jerking eulogy addressing Charlotte and her mother, during which he himself could not hold back his tears. He told the mourners present at the church, “Charlotte should know her father was a selfless and special man, who only left because he was a hero.” He added, “There are no words that can adequately describe our sorrow, our respect, our regard, for the loss of Andrew ... in that tragic accident.”
Church bells tolled as Mr. Fitzsimmons went on to present a commendation for extraordinary service to O’Dwyer’s widow, Melissa. Mr. O’Dwyer’s father too gave a heavy-hearted farewell speech and confessed that bidding his son goodbye is the toughest thing he has done. He described his son as a free-spirited person who always lived in the moment.
As a loving grandfather, he also mentioned that his son's greatest achievement is his daughter. He said his greatest achievement came “with the birth of his daughter Charlotte, the apple of her father’s eye." He added, “Although my heart is broken you have made me very proud.”
A heartwarming tribute would be given to the brave fighter by engraving the words "in memory of Andrew O'Dwyer" in one of the Horsley Park RFS fire trucks. It has also been planned that a permanent memorial would be erected in memory of O'Dwyer and another fallen father.