Honoring a fallen comrade

Published 4:50 pm Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A standing-room only crowd filled the Brantley Volunteer Fire Department on June 8 as family members, friends and fellow firefighters gathered to say a final goodbye to one of their own.

Brantley Fire Chief Harry Driggers presented Peggy Mount, widow of the late Lt. Lavon Mount, with his fire helmet during the solemn ceremony. Mount’s family members and loved ones were also seated with Mrs. Mount.

“This is a sad occasion, but it’s also a special occasion to remember Lavon, someone we could always count on,” Driggers said. “No matter what, he would always say, ‘I’ll be there’, and he was—that’s the challenge I now give to you younger ones.”

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“I won’t always be here to remind you, so you young people remember that FD #10 will never be given out again,” Driggers said, as he officially retired Mount’s fire helmet. “I’ve never done this before, and I hope I never have to do this again.”

Chauncey D. Wood, president of the Alabama Association of Volunteer Fire Departments, was also on hand to present the American flag to Mrs. Mount in honor of her husband, who passed away on May 2.

Wood also read a resolution by Alabama State Senator Roger Bedford commending Lt. Mount for his service to his fellow man.

“I’ve had a total of 11 firefighters who have died since I started in 1971,” Wood said. “I love our volunteers; when one of theirs dies, a part of me dies.”

“When I did my first flag resolution, I was sad, but it’s also a celebration of what that person did,” Wood said. “What more could a person do than serve his fellow man just like Lavon Mount did? He put his life on hold to serve his community.”

“Lt. Lavon Mount was always the first one to show up,” he said. “He was always there.”

AAVFD Vice President W.A. Neal also presented the AAVFD flag to Mrs. Mount. Chief Driggers gave the “Fireman’s Creed” to all of the Brantley VFD members, and an emotional Judy Woolley, Brantley councilmember, read a beautiful poem for Lt. Mount.

“This will be framed and placed in the fire department,” she said during the ceremony.