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Many offices will be closed at noon for funeral

What to expect today in Columbia, KY
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Adair County Judge Executive Ann Melton and Columbia Mayor Mark D. Harris have announced that both the CJE's office and City Hall will be closed at 12pm noon CT, today, Monday, July 11, 2011, in readiness for the funeral service at 1pm CT today for Charles Victor Sparks (1961-2011), at the Columbia Christian Church.

Both chief executives have asked citizens to help maintain respectful silence during the visitation and the funeral service today.

Early this morning large numbers of citizens, past and present public officials, and uniformed safety officers from across the state have paid respects in the visitation now in progress at the church.

By noon today, the community is expected to be filled to capacity with fire fighters, EMS personnel, and State Fire Marshals who will be taking part in the ceremonies honoring the fallen hero.

Already, fire units are lined up on Lindsey Hill in preparation for the procession from the church to the final burial site at Haven Hill Cemetery.

Columbia/Adair County Fire Department Public Affairs Officer Donald Hare has issued protocol for media covering the funeral, including specific requests to respect the privacy of the immediate family, with no video or photography inside the church and no video/photography of the immediate family at any time during the services.

Mr. Hare also reminded both the media and the public to avoid making any unnecessary noise during the services, requesting media helicopters to maintain at least one mile of separation from the procession.

The service

Officials are expecting an overflow crowd at the service today. The exact times of events, beyond the funeral time, is only estimated, but Mayor Harris said that he expected most of this afternoon to be given over, appropriately, to the service.

The funeral program will include the following:
  • A Salute to a Fallen Comrade with a prelude, "The Battle Hymn of the Republic"
  • Remarks and Comments and Scripture and Prayer by Bro. Terry White, minister of Columbia Christian Church
  • Musical Selection, "If you Only Knew"
  • Comments by Bill Swope, Kentucky State Fire Marshal
  • Tribute to Charlie, Mike Glasgow, Chief of the City of Columbia Fire Department
  • Musical Selection, "Glorious Day"
  • Funeral remarks by Bro. Raymond Martin, retired minister of Columbia Christian Church
  • Prayer and Final Passing
Procession through Downtown

Following the funeral service, there will be a procession led by uniformed members of the Columbia/Adair County Fire Department, on foot, leading Engine No. 3, bearing the body of the Charles Sparks immediately behind them, followed by other units including at least two or three bagpipe ensembles and possibly a drum unit - Mr. Hare was uncertain at the time of this post, and other select vehicles. The procession will proceed south on Campbellsville Street to Merchant, along Merchant Street past the Columbia/Adair County Fire Department Building and under the flags at half mast hung from the ladder of Ladder One, to High Street, and south on that street past the Adair 911 Center, to Greensburg Street, to the Public Square and back north on Campbellsville Street to the Columbia Christian Church.

Motorized procession from Church to Cemetery

Back at the church, the cortege will become the motorized procession reforming for the route out Fairground Street. It will be joined by the long line-up of fire trucks and emergency vehicles and private vehicles which will proceed to Haven Hill Cemetery for interment ceremonies there.

Residents should expect a great number of vehicles in the procession, which may be more than can be parked along the lanes inside the cemetery. If that should be the case, they will be parked along Liberty Road, Mr. Hare said.

This story was posted on 2011-07-11 09:20:27
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Remembering Charles Sparks (1961-2011): His car

2011-07-11 - 206 Campbellsville ST, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener.
The late Charles Sparks maintained equipment with meticulous care,. Fellow workers have tried to keep his State Fire Marshal's vehicle as spotless as it was while he was living. It's parked by the entrance to the Columbia Christian Church today, draped in mourning bunting, for the visitation and funeral rites. Attending the door, at 7amCT Monday, July 11, 2011, in dress uniform, are Adair County firefighters Allen Grimes, far left, and Penny Grimes, far right, from the Knifley Area Volunteer Fire Department, and, center, from left, Eric Vanarsdale and Alex Burkett of the Breeding Area Fire Department.

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Fire Department Engine No. 3

2011-07-11 - 206 Campbellsville ST, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Wggener.
Charles Victor Sparks (1961-2011) earthly remains will be borne by Engine No. 3 from the Columbia Christian Church to the burial site at Haven Hill Cemetery, 1276 Liberty RD, Columbia, KY. Mr. Sparks was a member of the committee which selected the vehicle when it was originally purchased.

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Flag at half mast from Ladder One

2011-07-11 - 201 Merchant ST, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener.
The flags of the United States and of the Columbia/Adair County Fire Department are flown at half mast over Merchant Street in front of the Columbia/Adair County Fire Department, today in honor of Charles Victor Sparks (1961-2011). Following today's funeral, a procession with the members of the fire department walking ahead of Engine No. 3, which will bear the body, with pass this point.

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Echo taps rehearsal for rites for Charles Sparks (1961-2011)

2011-07-11 - Haven Hill Cemetery, 1276 Liberty RD, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener.
Part of the intense preparation for the burial ceremony for Charles Victor Sparks (1961-2011) at Haven Hill Cemetery included rehearsal of Echo Taps by Lindsey Wilson trumpets Christian Talley, facing camera, facing the gravesite, and Allison Chaffin, back to gravesite. Both are graduates of Adair County High School who are now members of the Lindsey Wilson College Blue Raider Band. Director Tim Allen is at left.

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Procession formation on Lindsey Hill

2011-07-11 - 100 Block, Lindsey Wilson Street, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener.
Jeff Carlson, Okolona Fire Department,left directed the line up of emergency response vehicles on Lindsey Hill early this morning. He estimated that approximately 25 vehicles were already in line, ready to join the funeral procession for Charles Victor Sparks (1961-2011) Columbia/Adair County Fire Department member, State Fire Marshal, and member of EMS Unit 916 with the Adair County Ambulance Service. Carlson is the son of Richard Carlson, Chief of the Ololona Fire Protection District in Jefferson County, who organized the cortege route out of Louisville when the body of Charles Sparks was returned from Louisville to Columbia on Friday, July 8, 2011.

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The Procession moves past Judicial Center

2011-07-11 - 100 Block, Merchant ST, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener.
Pastors and speakers at the Charles Victor Sparks service, Bro. Raymond Martin, center, left and Bro. Terry White, center, right walked in front of the of Charles Sparks' State Fire Marshal's car, driven by Terry Hadley, which was just in front of Sparks fellow Columbia Fire Department members. Behind them, not pictured, came Engine No. 3 bearing the body of the departed. Over 400 uniformed firemen, State Fire Marshals, and EMS personnel were in attendance at the funeral.

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