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Public service honored in passing of WWII veteran, retired city firefighter

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John Lonergan was laid to rest Thursday. The 94-year old was a WWII veteran and served as a city firefighter for 33 years.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) - These are times when we are anxious about what's going on in the world around us.

But there are positive things to concentrate on in considering the life of long-time Fort Wayne firefighter John Lonergan, who spent a good deal of time serving community and country.

The 94-year old Lonergan passed away this past Saturday.

He was laid to rest Thursday at Lindenwood Cemetery.

He was a World War II Navy veteran, who helped build roads in Guam in the western Pacific.

He also served 33 years as a city firefighter before retiring in the early 1980's.

An old city fire truck that was part of the funeral procession stopped outside fire station #1 downtown, where Lonergan worked for so many years.

Current firefighters rang a bell and saluted to pay tribute to his memory.

Later, at the cemetery, there was a 21-gun salute and the playing of "Taps" in a military service before burial.

We asked a Navy officer in attendance about how rare it is to see a World War II veteran survive into the year 2020.

"That's correct...every one of these World War II veterans has a unique story and it's a story worth listening to," said Lt. Michael Tanner.

"Just to expound with the World War II veterans there's just not many of them left it's truly an honor to be able to stand and present arms for his last ride home," said Captain Todd Prindle with the Fort Wayne Fire Department.

Jeff Neumeyer

Jeff Neumeyer is a reporter for WPTA.

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