WILDFIRES

Firefighters, Citizens Line Up to Honor Fallen Draper Firefighter

Aug 20, 2018, 6:44 PM | Updated: 9:23 pm

DRAPER, Utah – Following the emotional funeral service of Draper Battalion Chief Matt Burchett, groups of people gathered along overpasses above Interstate 15 to pay their respects.

Morleys.jpg: From left: Jim Kenyon, Ken Morley, and wife, Susan Morley wait for a procession, carrying Draper Batallion Chief Matt Burchett Monday.

Along Bangerter Highway, just above I-15, Vietnam veterans Jim Kenyon and Ken Morley were among the first to line up after the service wrapped up at the Maverik Center in West Valley City.

“We just want to come out here and express our thanks for everything that they’ve done,” Kenyon said.

“They protect us every day,” Morley added. “I was in the military, and I’m thankful for anyone that does this kind of stuff.”

As the two waited above I-15, waving an American flag and a flag for prisoners of war, the procession solemnly passed with fire engines from Tremonton, Bluffdale, and West Valley.

Morley’s wife, Susan, said it wasn’t the first time they’ve come to honor those who died in the line of service.

“When Derek Johnson passed away, we lined up along 12300 South for the funeral procession,” she said. “We also did it at the point of the mountain for one of the officers.”

Monday’s display of gratitude, however, may have been the last one the Morley’s get to take part in together. The couple recently learned Ken may not be around much longer.

“He’s been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer,” Susan Morley said, explaining that he’s been given roughly two months to live.

As the couple did what they could to offer some comfort for the Burchett family. Susan said it comes at a time when she has been reflecting on the value of her own loved ones.

“We take them for granted,” she said. “Every moment that you have with a family member, you enjoy it, and you don’t hold grudges, and you try to love each other for who they are unconditionally.”

As the procession passed by, the Morleys and about a couple dozen others watched quietly – some holding their hands over their hearts.

“How can we thank this guy that died for us in California?” Ken Morley said. “How can we thank that? We can’t.”

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Firefighters, Citizens Line Up to Honor Fallen Draper Firefighter