Chili, New York – On Monday, members of the Patriot Guard Riders and first responders from across New York State came to the service to honor the life and legacy of James Sauer.
“He’s someone who dedicated his life serving not only our country, but our community,” said former Assistant Pembroke Fire Chief William Torres.
The procession traveled from Hilton, through Spencerport, and ended at the Open Door Baptist Church in Chili.
According to Jeff Abott, a member of Mercy Flight WNY, the support at the service shows the close bond first responders have. “It’s support, and you see all the police officers, that’s a brotherhood,” said Abott. “Fireman are a brotherhood, they are no different, and honestly, we are just here for each other.”
Abott worked with James at Mercy Flight WNY, and re-emphasized the great person that James was. “The narrative on Jim was universal,” said Abott. “He was a great guy, a servant, a great friend, a father, the narrative is universal.”
In order to pay his respects, Daniel Parr, first responder, traveled all the way from Olean. According to Parr, it’s all about honoring a man who gave so much to so many, despite he didn’t know Sauer well. “He was dedicated to the community through the military, and the police, and EMS,” said Parr. “He was all about taking care of people’s lives.”
According to Torres, the best way to honor Sauer, is to continue his mission. “People see us as different, but we are all first responders, we’re all there when they need us, and we will always be there, and we will continue doing this in Jim’s memory,” said Torres. “I don’t think we will ever completely heal, but we will be going forward in his memory.”
Roughly 1,500 people were in attendance for Sauer’s funeral service.