EMMITSBURG, MD (Gray DC) -- This weekend, a Wink Volunteer firefighter who died in the line of duty last year received national recognition. His loved ones traveled to Maryland for an annual ceremony honoring fallen firefighters.
The loss of 36-year-old Coby Slaughter is still surreal to those who knew him. But amid the pain, his wife, Kama, says his legacy lives on.
"He was an amazing father and husband and he joined the fire department when he was 18 and was on it until the day he died," said Kama.
Slaughter was killed in a crash in September 2016 by another driver who hydroplaned into his firetruck. Through the heartbreak, Kama says she has gained a new family through a shared bond.
“It’s very healing. It’s - it just puts your heart in a whole different place and helps you to move forward," said Kama.
Slaughter is one of 95 firefighters now included in the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland.
The events this weekend brought together hundreds of family members, friends and fellow firefighters to this site to honor their loved ones. They can also visit the new plaque that has all the names of the firefighters who died in service in 2016.
“They’re grieving. And this is a tough time for them and it brings back a lot of memories, but that’s what we’re here for to help them rebuild their lives and pull things back together with the loss of their firefighter," said Ron Siarnicki , Executive Director of the National Fallen Firefighters Association.