Hammond Fire Dept. lowers flag to half-staff to honor La National Guard crash victims

Memorial for soldiers being held at USS Kidd

HAMMOND, LA (WAFB) - Though it may have look like a routine day of operations for the Hammond Fire Department on Thursday, it was anything but normal. It was a dark day, reflecting one of the city's most tragic weeks in recent memory.

"Our regards definitely go to the families. I mean, I can't imagine how difficult that would be," said Kace Nielsen, Asst. Chief of the Hammond Fire Prevention Bureau.

In a display of solidarity for the Louisiana National Guard and its two confirmed victims of the Florida helicopter crash, the fire department is keeping its flag at half-staff.

"To show our support and our condolences, knowing those guys serve our country very well," said Capt. Tony Strahan.

Capt. Strahan comes to work everyday with an office view of the Guard's facilities.

But now, his vantage point puts him in a completely different state of mind.

"It was really like losing someone like a cousin or something like that because we see those guys and I watch them fly a lot. They fly over the station an awful lot," said Capt. Strahan.

The flag will remain at half-staff indefinitely while the Hammond community continues to pray and mourn and attempts to heal.

"We just appreciate what they've done for this state and for this country and all the servicemen. It's very sad, but they're definitely in our prayers," said Nielsen.

Copyright 2015 WAFB. All rights reserved.