Honor Guard Stand Vigil Over Fire Fighter Ashes

By Kristian Foden-Vencil

A small, white, marble urn containing the remains of firefighter John Percin Junior, arrived in Portland Wednesday. An honor guard is standing vigil over it at the Lake Oswego Fire Station.

The 24-year-old was one of the 19 Hotshots killed battling a wildfire in Arizona last month. He graduated from West Linn High School in 2007 and the Arizona Wildfire Academy last year. Dozens of firefighters, dressed in black and with black tape over their badges, stood at attention at the Lake Oswego Fire Station to accept Percin's ashes.

Chaplain Steve Brodehl says a 24-hour vigil will be held next to the remains until a family funeral, Friday, "I don't have words to put here. I don't have anything to say that will fix this. I just know that my heart can't even believe, I can't grasp the wound that is here forever." A public memorial service has been scheduled for Saturday at the Rolling Hills Community Church in Tualatin.
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