PHOENIX (Gray News) – Little Emery Beck started kindergarten this week, something millions of kids are doing as summer winds down and the school year begins.
Missing from her first day of school was her dad Brian Beck Jr., a firefighter who died of cancer in May.
Standing in for him were about 40 firefighters. They lined the sidewalk heading into Zuni Hills Elementary when Emery and her mom Sarah Beck arrived for class on Wednesday.
“They were his firefighter friends and some of the guys he went to the academy with,” said P.J. Dean with the Phoenix Fire Fighters Association, Local 493.
“We kind of consider ourselves one big family. We don’t ever forget them.”
Brian Beck Jr. died of occupational cancer, a form of the disease that is caused wholly or partly by exposure to a carcinogen at work.
Beck served at the Phoenix Fire Department for eight years.