At a somber opening to the start of Tuesday’s county commission meeting, a resolution was passed unanimously to honor the life of Brian Stephen Smith, the St. George Island first responder who perished Aug. 25 while trying to rescue a family of distressed swimmers off the coast.
Written and read by Cortni Bankston, an administrative assistant in the county planning office, the resolution was “to honor and respect a fallen hero, Brian Stephen Smith who was unselfishly dedicated to his family, his friends, and his community."
An active member of the St. George Island Volunteer Fire Department, as both a firefighter and a first responder since 2016, Smith survived by his wife of 33 years, Elizabeth, a son, Byren Davis Smith and a daughter, Rachael Elizabeth Smith.
More: Obituary of Brian Stephen Smith
The resolution closed with a poem written by Bankston called “Fallen Hero.”
How do you convey gratitude after such a great life has been lost?
To speak of your unselfish sacrifice to save another that came with great cost.
To say your name is to speak of the countless you have inspired
To remember your courage and strength means you will forever be admired.
To count the immeasurable tears shed is something we cannot do
But to remember the life you lived, is how we bring endless honor to you.
Your legacy will live on for there is one sure thing we know,
Brian Stephen Smith was a husband, father, son, brother, colleague and friend, but most importantly,
He will forever remain our
County commissioners each commented about the tremendous gratitude each felt for what Smith had done.
“I feel like I have a kinship,” said Commissioner Bert Boldt. “I have never heard of a better example of the golden rule. He died in the service of our community; his act was to protect humanity.
“I wish peace to his family and loved ones,” he said.
“We thank you for his service,” Chairman Noah Lockley said. “To the family we’re deeply sorry about your loss.”
Commissioner Smokey Parrish spoke of how deeply the community had felt the loss of Smith.
“Well-spoken Mr. Bert,” said Commissioner William Massey.
Commissioner Ricky Jones spoke of how his eldest son Nathan had worked for Smith at 300 Ocean Mile.
“I am so thankful for the life he lived,” Jones said. “There is no higher calling, no higher act. We’re thankful this day for his life and this family.”
The presentation closed with a moment of silence for Smith, as well as for the three St. George islanders who perished this week in a fire.
This article originally appeared on The Apalachicola Times: Saluting a fallen hero