Zach Whitacre

Zach Whitacre

It’s been nearly three months since Gore Volunteer Firefighter Zach Whitacre was killed in the call of duty. The accident certainly hit this community hard and this weekend, folks gathered to remember and honor Zach as well as others who have given their lives to keep our community safe.

The event was put on by the Disabled Veterans Committee on housing. Zach was honored along with four other soldiers, who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

John Lewandowski, an organizer with the special ceremony, explained, “My honor goes to everybody who lays their life on the line for us every day.”

Kathy Long, a singer at the ceremony, added, “I hope this is just one of many more events.”

“Zachary would’ve loved to have been here himself. He would’ve been awestruck at some of these people,” said Zach’s dad, Donald Whitacre.

It was an emotional day for many at the “Celebration of Spring,” especially for the family of Zach.

His grandmother, Sue Whitacre, added, “The whole Frederick County – Winchester area and Gore and the firefighters – everyone has been terrific to us.”

Color Guard at Historic Jordan Springs

Color Guard at Historic Jordan Springs

Zach was killed in the line of duty February 13th.The celebration urges people to never forget the price he and others have paid.

Kathy Long sang through music dedicated to the Whitacre family and someone close to her: her father.

“He took care of seven kids on a coal miner’s pay after he got out of the Marine Corps,” Long explained.

She understands what all these families are going through as they honor their loved ones.

For them, the event brought a kind of closure, which is why organizers and veterans like Lewandowski work to put the whole thing together.

“They put their lives on the line. Now that I’m done, I want to set precedence for veterans in the future,” Lewandowski explained.

The event was held at the Historic Jordan Springs in Frederick County.

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