Local 947 members,
A year ago today, we lost our brother Captain Will Caviness. It is hard to find the words that fully convey the sense of shock and loss that we all felt in the days following Will's death. For Will's family, and for many of our members, there exists a profound sense of grief just under the surface of daily life. It is hard to reconcile the great loss of all the good things Will surely would have gone on to accomplish and harder still to simply make sense of such a tragedy.
Yet, somehow, through this horrific event, there have been countless acts of kindness that have, I hope, helped to ease this loss for the family and our Local and Department. I can't convey how proud I was of the way our union, at the national, state, and Local level, responded and rallied around the Caviness family. It was truly humbling to see the fire service brotherhood in action for one of our own. Additionally, it has been very humbling to see the continued acts of charity in Will's memory. By my count, over $30,000 (and counting) has been raised in Will's memory for the IAFF Burn Fund. That is $30,000 that has furthered research in burn treatment and helped to improve quality of life for burn survivors. I think that is a legacy that Will would be proud of.
Again, it can be hard to glean anything positive out of a tragedy like this. But I think we owe it to Will and his family to push through the loss and find the good. There are three words that in my mind have come to capture the man I knew Will to be- the way he lived his life and what he was doing when he left us. Those three words are Family, Charity, and Brotherhood. If we can keep those ideals close to us and allow them to guide our actions, as individuals, as a Local, and as a Department, then it will certainly add to the lasting legacy of our brother, Captain William L. Caviness.
Dave CokerC Coker C
Professional Fire Fighters of Greensboro, IAFF Local 947