A toddler has received one of Australia’s highest honours on behalf of his late father, who was killed battling wildfires.
An emotional funeral was held for Geoffrey Keaton, 32, one of three volunteer firefighters killed in the devastating fires in recent weeks.
His son, nineteen-month-old Harvey Keaton, sucked on a pacifier while the fire service commissioner knelt down to pin a posthumous commendation for bravery and service to the child’s Rural Fire Services (RFS) shirt.
Image: Tributes for volunteers Geoffrey Keaton and colleague Andrew O’Dwyer
On top of Mr Keaton’s coffin was a mug showing a picture of father and son stick figures and the inscription: “Daddy I love you to the moon and back!”
Dozens of firefighters saluted and formed a guard of honour as Mr Keaton’s hearse drove into cemetery in Sydney.
He and a colleague died last month when a burnt tree fell in the path of their fire truck. A third firefighter died this week in what was described by authorities as a “fire tornado”.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who has faced criticism for his response to the fires, also attended.
More from Australia
The NSW RFS said on Twitter it had “farewelled one of our own”.
Image: Geoffrey Keaton was killed after a fire truck he was in crashed. Pic: New South Wales Rural Fire Service
At least 18 have died as the fires rage on, with the south coast of New South Wales expected to experience extreme danger from fires this weekend, with temperatures forecast to pass 40C (104F).
Source : Sky News