Southern Mourning | from Southern Calls Issue 16, September 2017
(Opening Image: June 22, 2007 – Charleston 9 Firefighters Service
President, Mike McDaniel,1999-00 (head), President Thomas E. Baker II, 2007-08 (foot)
Photographer – We are very appreciative to SCFDA member and licensed funeral director, D. Keith Driggers,
for his extraordinary efforts in taking over 600 photos of the memorial services.)
In 2003, l was asked to serve on the funeral committee for the burial of the crew of the Confederate Submarine, The H.L. Hunley. The event concluded with several thousand persons descending upon Charleston to pay respects to the eight men who lost their lives on the night of February 17, 1864, just off the coast of South Carolina. The planning involving hundreds of individuals with a wide variety of expertise took over a year.
The funeral service for the Charleston 9 Firefighters was planned and implemented in three days.
This tremendous undertaking could not have happened were it not for the compassion and determination of dedicated men and women of the South Carolina Funeral Directors Association, responding to a call.
Shortly after the Sofa Super Store fire began on June 18, 2007, nine brave men sacrificed their lives . . . In the Line of Duty.
In the early morning hours of June 22, 2007, nine hearses and 30 funeral directors arrived at the North Charleston Coliseum – the culmination of three intense days of preparation. Over the next few hours the City of Charleston, the state of South Carolina, and the nation watched as the casketed remains of nine brave firefighters were honored with the highest degree of respect.
As executive director of SCFDA, at the time, never in my funeral service career was I more proud of the men and women, in our profession, who assisted with the Charleston Nine Funeral Service.
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