WETUMPKA, Ala. (WSFA) - When Equality Volunteer Firefigher Michael Johnston died last Friday, the man who started the U.S. Honor Flag program began making his way to Elmore County from Washington, D.C.
Chris Heisler drives his 40-foot camper all over the country honoring fallen first responders, including soldiers. The flag that will be situated near Michael Johnston’s casket is the same flag that flew during recovery efforts close to what was left of the Twin Towers in New York City during 9/11 in 2001.
“Typically the honor flag will be displayed during the funeral services on the right side of the casket, headside of the casket. We’ll have honor guards that will hold the honor flag and carry it everywhere the fallen firefighter moves to. Every single time the flag is touched and handled we’ll use brand new custom honor flag gloves. All of those gloves will be surrendered to the firefighter’s family," said Heisler.
Wetumpka police gave Heisler an escort as he made his way into the city of Wetumpka Tuesday afternoon. Heisler says the flag has been carried to more than 1,000 funerals since 9/11.
Johnston’s funeral is set for Saturday morning at 11 a.m. at Good Hope Baptist Church in Eclectic. He will be buried in Rehobeth.