Burlington firefighter mourned - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Burlington firefighter mourned

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

Fire crews stood at attention Wednesday morning outside Station One in downtown Burlington as a funeral procession passed. The display is in honor of 49-year-old Capt. David Gale who died of an apparent heart attack while duck hunting in Colchester Friday.

"It's great to have that and to have that support and to know that he was so well-loved in the community," said Kyle Gale, his son.

Despite a thick blanket of snow, firefighters from across the Green Mountain State made the trip to Burlington for the service.

Gale's children say that helped them celebrate their father's life.

"That's the part that made us cry is that all these people even if they didn't know my dad, respected him for what he did," said Candace Gale, his daughter. "It's been the hardest day of my life, but at the same time seeing how many people love my dad, it's been healing for my brothers and I."

Gale began his career as a firefighter in 1988 and planned to retire next year. His children say they have a big helmet to fill.

"It's just a reminder to me how big his heart really was and how I want to live up to those expectations for him," son Andrew Gale said.

They say their father's near-constant affection gave them the confidence to succeed even now that he's gone.

"He was very proud of us and we know that because he was so vocal about it," Kyle said.

"It's therapeutic, definitely it reminds you of all the good times you got to have with him and how lucky and blessed you really were to have a father like him," Andrew said.

"It means the world to me," Candace said. "I knew exactly how my dad felt about me; there was no doubt in my mind."

What his children realized Wednesday is just how the community felt about him, as well.

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