• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m

U.S. Honor Flag arrives for fallen firefighter

By Heather Hintze 6:44 PM March 13, 2014

The flag pays tribute to Senior Capt. Jeff Bayless, who died in a training exercise last week.

ANCHORAGE - The United States Honor Flag started as a tribute to fallen heroes after 9/11.

Thursday afternoon the flag made its way to Anchorage to honor the life of Senior Capt. Jeff Bayless, who died in an Anchorage Fire Department training exercise last week.

“Jeff was a very patriotic person and he was dedicated to the fire department,” said his sister Cynthia Starnes. “He was dedicated to his beliefs. He had very high standards. So the fact this flag is coming in for Jeff’s funeral, the only word that comes to my mind is amazing.”

Dozens of friends and colleagues lined the terminal at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport to salute the flag as it went by.

“That’s what we’re here for, supporting the family of Senior Captain Bayless and the family of Anchorage firefighters that are grieving the loss at this time,” said Brian Leigh, the Anchorage Fire Department’s Honor Guard Commander. “Seeing the show of support from all these other agencies, it’s just the best honor that could be given to the family and to us.”

Leigh said he and the other firefighters have been so busy planning Bayless’ memorial, it hasn’t really hit them that he’s gone.

“It is very surreal,” Leigh said. “I think it’s really going to hit a lot of people after this weekend’s events when we have time to settle down from all this planning and it’s really going to hit all of our members in the realization that he won’t be coming back.”

“The fact that Jeff died in the line of duty didn’t surprise anybody because that’s what he was about,” Starnes said. “The fact he was a firefighter didn’t surprise any of us. He had always told us that whatever he was going to do in life it was going to be helping people.”

A procession of fire trucks made its way from the airport to Evergreen Memorial Chapel where the Honor Flag was laid near his casket.

“It gives us a sense of comfort knowing that flag’s going to be with him,” Starnes said. “It also gives us a great deal of comfort knowing that the fire department is going to be with him 24-7 right now because he was their brother.”

A public memorial will be held Saturday, March 15 at 2 p.m. at the Egan Center.

Latest Stories

  • Sports

    UAA men’s cross country headed to NCAA tourney again

    by KTVA Sports on Nov 23, 18:37

    After a strong performance at the NCAA Division II West Region Championships in Billings, Montana, UAA Cross Country now finds itself in a familiar position — the NCAA Tournament.

  • Weather

    Evening News weather, Nov. 23

    by KTVA Weather on Nov 23, 18:20

  • News

    Thanksgiving Blessing expects to feed 11,000 in Anchorage area

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Nov 23, 18:03

    This Thanksgiving will be a reason to celebrate for many local families, thanks to the Food Bank of Alaska and neighborhood volunteers. This year’s Thanksgiving Blessing project — one of the area’s biggest food drives for the holidays – is expected to feed more than 11,000 families around Anchorage and the Mat-Su Valley. Tons of donations […]

  • Sports

    Days before Great Alaska Shootout, UAA men’s basketball back on track

    by KTVA Sports on Nov 23, 16:58

    As preparation begins for the GCI Great Alaska Shootout, which begins Tuesday, the UAA men’s basketball team appears back on track.

  • News

    Anchorage Fire Department holds deep-fried turkey safety demo

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Nov 23, 13:30

    Thanksgiving is around the corner. For many residents, deep-fried turkey is on the planned menu. Anchorage Fire Department battalion chief Mark Hall says deep fryer fires are responsible for about $15 million in damage to homes. Hall and other firefighters from the department held a demonstration Saturday of what could happen if deep frying a […]

  • News

    Downtown street party, multiple shootings overnight keep Anchorage police busy

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Nov 23, 12:00

    The video above may contain inappropriate content. Anchorage police responded to multiple incidents early Sunday morning, including an unruly street party and two isolated shootings. Downtown street party The first occurred at around 2:30 a.m., according to a release from the Anchorage Police Department. Police responded to a call that shots had been fired in the […]

  • News

    UAF computer science students seek software proposals

    by Associated Press on Nov 23, 10:45

    Computer science students at the University of Alaska Fairbanks are looking for software design proposals as part of their learning process. UAF officials say the projects allow public service and private organizations, as well as governments, to get free software while students get experience. Officials say more than 65 successful projects have been developed by […]

  • News

    Diversity a theme at Walker transition conference in Anchorage

    by Shannon Ballard on Nov 22, 18:42

    It would be easy to have a closed-door discussion about the critical issues that face Alaska, but Gov.-elect Bill Walker says the conversation should belong to all Alaskans. “We get the best input the more people we have involved in the process,” said Walker. There is some risk associated with doing that. The bigger risk […]