Fallen Wisconsin firefighter is honored at a national ceremony

EMMITSBURG, Md. (GrayDC)-- A Sun Prairie volunteer firefighter is remembered at a national memorial service in Maryland. Thousands paid tribute to 119 firefighters killed in the line of duty.

Fallen firefighter Cory Barr's widow Abby, and their two daughters accept a folded flag and rose in Barr's honor. (Source: GrayDC)

It was a solemn tribute to volunteer firefighter Cory Barr.

Barr’s name is now etched on the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

“Daddy is Cory and he is in heaven,” said Barr’s daughter Aubrey.

Twins Haley and Aubrey, only 4-years-old, are missing their father.

“That’s what I have the hardest time with, you know during happy times and sad times. Because even seeing them happy breaks my heart because he’s not here to see those beautiful, smiling faces,” said wife Abby.

Cory Barr was a Captain at the Sun Prairie Fire Department. Barr died responding to a gas leak that lead to an explosion.

Wife Abby Barr and their two daughters accepted a folded flag and a rose in his memory at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial, just part of a weekend that was therapeutic for Abby, still mourning her husband.

“That felt good to have the loneliness that you feel not quite as lonely at least for a little bit,” said Abby.

Barr is one of 119 firefighters honored today. Thousands of people have come out to honor the responders who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Although she continues to grieve, Barr’s wife tells me how she will be celebrating her husband’s life with her daughters.

“We have stuff up around the house that was his,” said Barr. “Without knowing him, they’ll know him.”

A 16-year veteran of the fire department, his passion for service ran deep.
And his passion is still changing lives every day, according to Sun Prairie Fire Department Chief Christopher Garrison.

“He brings that kind of an understanding that every day could be your last day,” said Garrison.

It is the small moments that Garrison will miss the most.

“Every morning, Cory would park his car outside the fire station and he would just wave. And I miss that…he was just a fun guy,” said Garrison.

Barr’s legacy: live life to the fullest each and every day.

Sun Prairie Fire Department Chief Christopher Garrison said Chief the department will be unveiling a statue in Barr’s honor sometime later in October.

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