The Honor Network honors fallen fire chief
Elwood Volunteer Fire Department Fire Chief Darren Krull, honored
ELWOOD, Neb. (KNOP) - The family, friends, and community of fallen Fire Chief Darren Krull of Elwood gathered Monday in Krull’s honor. At the Elwood Civic Center in Elwood, at a 10 a.m. ceremony, the community stood in silence as local law enforcement and The Honor Network founder and president Chris Heisler shared the very special story behind the U.S. Honor Flag, before presenting it for Chief Krull’s family to see.
The U.S. Honor Flag has been at ground zero to honor the victims of 9/11. It has been to the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. It has traveled millions of miles, including several trips around Earth in 2011 aboard the Spaceshuttle Atlantis. And now, it has been to Elwood, Nebraska. While it has been hand-delivered to thousands of funerals and memorial services, it has only done so for very special occasions, and only for American Heroes in Law Enforcement, Fire, EMS, and the U.S. Armed Forces.
And while the reason for its visit is devastating, it is important, says Heisler, and even necessary, to honor the service and sacrifice of these men and women who rush fearlessly into the face of danger.
Fire Chief Darren Krull spent years rushing toward danger to keep others safe. His time as a firefighter numbered over 37 years. Most recently, he was a firefighter in Gosper County for the Elwood Volunteer Fire Department. Chief Krull’s aunt said she is grateful to The Honor Network for bringing the U.S. Honor Flag to honor her nephew.
Deb Wells said a man came through the receiving line Monday at the ceremony. She said he told her that Chief Krull had saved his life. The man told her he knew he had to come so he could tell the family just what Chief Krull had meant to him. Deb Wells said the ceremony was very special.
Two of Chief Krull’s uncles traveled to Elwood to witness the ceremony and attend their nephew’s funeral, scheduled for Wednesday. They say they are “very proud of Darren.” Bob Wells of Arizona is grateful for everyone remembering his nephew in such a special way. Chuck Wells of Omaha hopes others will recognize those who “run toward trouble” to help others.
Chuck Wells shared a memory of Chief Krull as a child.
Heisler said it is an incredible opportunity to honor Chief Krull. This man served as a firefighter for 37 years, serving his community in a selfless way for years, and then going to Elwood with that same selfless service without any hesitation.
During the ceremony, Gosper County law enforcement removed the flag from its case. They took turns gently holding it above their hearts. The officers showed it to those present, turned the flag, saluted the flag, and replaced the flag upright on its case for all to see. Special gloves are worn each time it is handled as part of the ceremony, and to keep oils off the flag. The gloves are only worn once. After the presentation, the gloves are often given to the family as a keepsake memento of the honorable occasion. Chief Krull’s wife was given two sets of gloves.
Funeral services for Fire Chief Darren Krull are being planned for Wednesday, April 13 at 10:30 a.m., at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Elwood.
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