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National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Roll of Honor

Age: 60
Year of Death: 2003

Bruce Hemenway Young

Submitted by his wife

A few thoughts about my husband‚ Firefighter Bruce Hemenway Young. At age 60‚ he was a 37-year member of the Middlebury‚ Vermont Fire Department. It meant everything to him. I never saw him hesitiate once. When the fire alarm went off‚ he was gone in a flash. On winter nights‚ he would lay out his long-johns and warm clothes to be ready–just in case.

Bruce was also a nine-year veteran of the Middlebury Rescue Squad‚ a lifelong member of the Masonic Grand Lodge of Vermont‚ and on the Mary Force Scholarship Committee.

Bruce loved people–he could talk to anyone about anything. Anytime we took a ride‚ he wouled always wave to anyone with a firefigher’s light or emblem. I would ask if he knew them and he would say: ‘It doesn’t matter. We’re like one big family.’

He loved to do all sorts of things–traveling‚ boating‚ music and concerts‚ the theatre‚ fishing and skiing with his grandson. Every Saturday morning though‚ he was over at the firehouse‚ first washing and then polishing the ladder truck. He was so proud–it was his baby. Then he would drive it around town to ‘make sure everything was in perfect working order.’

He loved his family so much. He was always telling someone what his children were up to‚ about the newest grandchild‚ or maybe what his parents were doing. He loved the comraderie of his four brothers–Robert‚ Roger‚ Peter‚ and Mark. They have become closer than ever since the loss of Bruce.

I try to go with dignity and pride in all that I do‚ as he would have expected of me. One of the things I miss the most is his smile–it lit up his face‚ and his presence filled a room.

I learned a lot from Bruce. He always said: ‘Even if you’re having a bad day‚ put a smile on your face and pretend it’s a good one–pretty soon it’ll be real. ‘

Submitted by his son

I write this as a tribute to both my father ‚ and all the men and women that take time out of their lives to help others at a moments notice.

My father loved the community of Middlebury. Firefighting was one way that he and my mother Roz related to others in the area.

I have fond memories of hanging around the firehouse with my dad‚ and my Uncle Roger. They along with others‚ such as the late Don Keeler‚ and more people than I could write showed me how much kindness they showed to people that had at times lost it all.

My father was and still is one of those very special people that touched others‚ and who would go out of his way to help others.

To all the other firefighters and especially to all the firefighters in the Addison County area‚ let me say thank you for all your kindness during my dad’s memorial service.

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