SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The Savannah Fire Department held a funeral procession and ceremony Thursday morning honoring Captain Matthew Kelly.
The department says Kelly died Monday morning after a brave battle with pancreatic cancer.
The procession was live-streamed on WTOC’s digital platforms and on the Savannah Fire Department Facebook page. Following a private funeral, Capt. Kelly’s unit led the procession to Savannah Fire Headquarters where Capt. Kelly’s last call was dispatched.
Rewatch the ceremony:
“Even COVID-19 and social distancing could not and would not stop us this morning as the public safety community and a grateful City of Savannah gather safely to celebrate the life and legacy of Captain Matthew James Kelly," said Mayor Van Johnson.
“I came to work one morning expecting him to be in his typical seat, and he was not there. Then again, and a third time. I assumed he was on vacation. When I learned of his diagnosis my spirit was crushed. Pancreatic cancer, I knew what that meant. But I held hope," said Chief Derik Minard. “Captain Kelly paid the ultimate sacrifice to serve others. For that we are eternally grateful.”
“To the Savannah Fire Department, losing a brother is overwhelming. It brings the reality of inherent risks, seen or unseen into focus. Captain Kelly’s legacy will live through each one of you. The lessons he taught and his passion for the profession will leave a light for all of us to follow. Captain Kelly was wicked strong. And his love for all of you was evident," said Minard.