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Brian Carey, 28, was only seven weeks into living his dream of becoming a firefighter when he died trying to rescue 84-year-old Wendell Elias, a World War II veteran, during a tragic blaze in Homewood.
Today he's being hailed as a hero.
“He died honorably, doing what he thought was right,” said Carey’s father, Brian Carey Sr. in an interview with NBC last week.
The Honor Flag, used to recognize police, fire or military personnel who are killed in the line of duty, arrived at O’hare Airport Friday. Homewood firefighter John Elashik, president of the Homewood Professional Firefighters Union Local 3656, accepted the flag and led an honor guard procession through a terminal, reports the Sun-Times.
“It was overwhelming to witness,” one Homewood firefighter told the Sun-Times. “You could have heard a pin drop in that terminal as they passed through. It’s hard to describe how much it meant.”
The flag is being kept at the Homewood police department for safe keeping. It will be on hand at Carey’s wake that starts at 2 p.m. Monday at the Blake-Lamb Funeral Home in Oak Lawn and will be part of his funeral on Tuesday.