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Peekskill Honors Fallen Firefighter Kevin Bristol

Firefighters gather at the funeral for Kevin Bristol, who died of a heart attack Monday. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
The funeral procession at the funeral of firefighter Kevin Bristol. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
A fire truck at the funeral of Kevin Bristol, a firefighter who died on Monday. Photo Credit: Sam Barron

PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- Peekskill firefighter Kevin Bristol was a hero.

Bristol, who passed away from a heart attack on Monday at the age of 48, was memorialized at Assumption Church on Wednesday with firefighters and first responders from throughout the county and New York City coming to pay their respects at the full dress funeral.

Vernon P. Wickrematunge, the parochial vicar at Assumption, asked God to give him strength as he eulogized Bristol.

"Give me the courage to stand and celebrate Kevin's life," Wickrematunge said. "Light is greater than darkness. Hope is greater than despair."

Wickrematunge said Bristol had a belief in the goodness of all people.

"I remember Kevin proudly marching with the fire department on July 4," Wickrematunge said. "I wish I knew more about him. I have learned so much about him since his passing. I have heard so much good about him.

Wickrematunge said he came to celebrate Bristol's life.

"He loved to bring Jesus to people," Wickrematunge said. "He was a bridge between people and God."

Turning to the mourners, Wickrematunge thanked them for all they did to enrich Bristol's life.

"You made his life so happy," Wickrematunge said. "You should know how much you gave to him."

Wickrematunge said Bristol loved being a firefighter and that being a firefighter was who he was.

"He was always where the action was," Wickrematunge said. "It's where he wanted to be. Kevin will always be our friend. He is our hero."

Wickrematunge said we can bury his body, but not his spirit, bury his mind, but not his dreams, bury his hands but not his good works, bury his heart, but not his love.

"We can never bury his love," Wickrematunge said.

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