FORSYTH TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WLUC) - On Saturday, the Forsyth Township and Gwinn community remember 23-year-old Ben Lauren, a Forsyth Township firefighter who died while battling a fire in a K.I. Sawyer duplex.
"That family gave their son, protecting our community, and we need to make sure our community recognizes that,” said Forsyth Township Firefighter, Bill Nordeen.
"Today, his body is being interred at the Gwinn cemetery, so his fellow firefighters are going to make a procession through town,” said Forsyth Township Supervisor, Joseph Boogren.
Other local law enforcement agencies in the area also joined alongside the fire department to remember the fallen hero.
"When anyone that suffers a loss or an injury, everybody feels it,” explained Boogren.
Saturday’s procession is just one of the ways Lauren will be remembered forever.
The fire hall will now display a memorial that will be encased in Lauren’s locker, similar to an honor the department did for Don Riling, a Forsyth Township firefighter who died in 1988.
"Ben was a special guy. I knew him all his life,” said Nordeen. “I'm very close to his family, and he's a wonderful, wonderful person and it's a great loss, and the one thing we can do is not ever forget that he gave his life fighting for our community, and we're going to do our best to never forget that."
Later this summer, Nordeen says the department plans to invite all the fire departments across the state and some in Wisconsin for a true ceremony to honor Lauren.