Photos of 19-month-old Charlotte, daughter of a fallen firefighter in Australia has left people across the world emotional. (Source: NSW Rural Fire Service/ Facebook)
A volunteer firefighter, who died while battling bushfires in Australia, was posthumously awarded the Commissioner's commendation for extraordinary service and bravery. And photos from the ceremony, in which the firefighter's young daughter is seen wearing her father's helmet, have gone viral.
Photos of 19-month-old Charlotte wearing the helmet of her 36-year-old father Andrew O’Dwyer at the funeral service hosted in the Sydney suburb of Horsley Park struck a chord with thousands of people online. Firefighters formed a guard of honour to bid farewell to O’Dwyer and among the hundreds in attendance were Prime Minister Scott Morrison and New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian.
As the firefighter was honoured with the highest accolade for firefighters, Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons pinned the service medal on O'Dwyer's daughter. Charlotte was captured holding her father's casket, and wearing his helmet while standing in front of his coffin.
This 19-month-old girl's father died fighting bushfires in Australia.
Andrew O'Dwyer was a volunteer firefighter - he was posthumously awarded a medal for his service and bravery.
The medal was pinned to his daughter Charlotte's dress as she was given her father's helmet. pic.twitter.com/UxgZvHcUrY
— Channel 5 News (@5_News) January 7, 2020
The touching photos of Charlotte broke many hearts. Here's how people reacted:
Members of the Horsley Park Rural Fire Brigade, also performed the haka - a Maori ceremonial dance - for O’Dwyer at the end of the service as a sign of respect.
O’Dwyer was one of two volunteers killed last month in the line of duty. The two men were killed after a tree fell on their vehicle, causing it to overturn. Last week, the firefighter killed in the blaze was buried and photo of his son being honoured with a medal went viral.