Dignitaries, well wishers and mourners alike gathered at St. Rita of Cascia Chapel to bid farewell to a hero, and sing the praises of the Chicago Fire department.
Hundreds upon hundreds of firefighters in full dress uniforms lined the streets as a procession arrived and departed from the church. A truck carried the body of Edward Stringer, who along with Corey Ankum, died Wednesday in a roof collapse.
"Firefighters instinctivly respond to a citizen's call for help as we're all trained to do, no questions asked," said Thomas Ryan, president of CFFU local 2. "Our brothers Ed and Corey responded to a call that day no questions asked. Only on this day, they gave all they had to give."
Mayor Richard Daley said they made our city safe.
"Every day Edward willingly put his life in danger," Daley said. "And the city of Chicago is lucky to have had him out there protecting us."
"Everybody that worked with him knew that he always brought a smiled to everybody's face, and that's so obvious when you see his family members and the pictures from his personal life. Every picture he's in, he's smiling," said Fire Commissioner Bob Hoff, after spending time inside the Blake Lamb Funeral Home supporting the Stringer family.
Firefighters from Michigan and Wisconsin travelled here by bus to pay final respects. They're members of the Axeman Firefighters Motorcycle Club. Stringer, the father of two adult children, loved to ride himself.
"When you lose a member, it's just in our hearts and our blood that we all stick together, especially in a situation like this," said Bob Kowalski, Director of Chicago Chapter 1.
Stringer's private burial follows at Beverly Cemetery in Oak Lawn.
Meanwhile, Corey Ankum's visitation is planned for Wednesday at Apostolic Church of God on 63rd and Dorchester Avenue. His funeral is scheduled for Thursday morning.