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Letter: An American hero passed through Harford County on Tuesday

On Tuesday morning, April 30, 2019, at 0555 hours, while Harford County residents were still asleep or just starting their day, an American Hero passed through our mist on his way to eternal rest at Arlington National Cemetery. He was escorted through Harford County from New York City by the Maryland State Police.

At every overpass along I-95 volunteer firefighters positioned their apparatus with emergency lights flashing and aerials raised to proudly display the American flag in salute to his life and selfless service. In the bus behind the hearse carrying his body was his family and a caravan of colleagues and friends.

He would soon join the hundreds of thousands of military veterans who earned the right, and the respect, to rest forever in those sacred and hallowed grounds overlooking our nation’s capital. He would be honored by a solemn military ceremony witnessed by his beloved wife, three young daughters, his parents, his military family, his fire service family, and his friends.

His name is Christopher Slutman, age 43, a U.S. Marine Corps. Staff Sergeant, 15-year veteran of the New York City Fire Department and Life Member of the Kentland Volunteer Fire Department in Prince George’s County.. He was mortally wounded on April 8 by a roadside bomb while bravely serving as a U.S. Marine in Afghanistan.

“He was from the 1 percent of us who are not rich but constitute our essential wealth, the first responders and members of the military who stand ready to sacrifice all.” — Michael Daly, The Daily Beast.

Rest in peace Chris, God bless you and God bless America!

John F. Bender


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