© Betsy Kimak. All Rights Reserved.
I took this series of photos on May 25, 2006, which was the day of the funeral for Lt. Richard Montoya, a 30-year veteran of the Denver Fire Department who was just two months from retirement when he was critically injured while rescuing a 16-year-old girl from a burning home on May 14. Montoya, 61, passed away seven days later after he was removed from life support.
A mass was held for the firefighter at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Denver, which was followed by a cross-town funeral procession for his burial at Fort Logan National Cemetery.
Since I live only a few miles from the cemetery, I was able to view this portion of the procession, which included more than 150 fire engines and trucks from around the state. It was an amazing sight to see so many engines in one spot, particularly because each had been carefully washed, waxed and shined. The chrome was blinding in the hot mid-day sun.
It was a moving experience to watch the procession, and an unexpectedly private and peaceful encounter photographing the trucks.
To the Montoya family and the Denver firefighters of Station 9, my sincerest condolences. To all firefighters everywhere, thank you for your service.