The year 2022 ended tragically for many members of the firefighting community in New Tripoli and Frederick, Md.
Firefighters First Assistant Chief Zachary Paris and Marvin Gruber, volunteers with Station 17, Community Fire Company, New Tripoli, died Dec. 7 in a horrendous house fire in West Penn Township, Schuylkill County.
Paris was also a firefighter with the Frederick County Division of Fire and Rescue in Maryland.
The two men died heroes, leaving behind their loved ones, wives, children, extended family and fellow firefighters.
The procession of firetrucks, EMS vehicles and Pennsylvania State Police SUVs stretched long as the two men who had given their all while searching for an individual thought to be trapped inside the burning house were returned home to the Lehigh Valley.
Their viewing and memorial service at Northwestern Lehigh Middle School were attended by hundreds grieving their loss.
And now the clock is ticking toward a New Year - a new beginning, so to speak - but for the loved ones of these two fallen firefighters, the pain and feeling of loss will continue well beyond 2023.
My prayers go out to the firefighting community at-large and especially to the families of Zachary Paris and Marvin Gruber. May you find some comfort in the good memories and the good times you shared.