Sunday, November 23, 2008

Chicago firefighter laid to rest 113 years after his death

St. Florian

Chicago firefighter laid to rest 113 years after his death
Married father of 8 was buried without a grave marker in 1895
By Joel Hood | Tribune reporter
November 23, 2008

During a chilly, lakeside memorial Saturday in Evanston, Chicago firefighters laid to rest own of their own—more than a century after his death.

Lt. Patrick O'Donnell was one of four firefighters killed Nov. 21, 1895, fighting a blaze in the Dry Goods and Wollen Exchange building in downtown Chicago. The 36-year-old father of eight was buried in Calvary Cemetery in Evanston four days after the fire, but—and no one seems to know why—without a grave marker.

That changed on Saturday.

"It doesn't matter when you serve; once you're sworn in as a firefighter, you're family," Chicago Fire Commissioner John Brooks said over the wail of bagpipes on the 113th anniversary of O'Donnell's death. "We don't let the past go off into oblivion."


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Catholic and politically conservative, I graduated with a BA in History (concentration in American) and Political Science. I'm between two parishes; one in Wisconsin that is fairly traditional, and one in Illinois that is fairly liberal. I teach CCD. I work in the food service industry, which basically means I'm working in fast food until I find a better job. I'd like to work for the church somehow. Right now I'm working on getting my teaching certification, although I'm unsure thats the correct path for me. This blog is as random as I am. I hope you enjoy.