Hundreds gather to remember fallen Idaho smokejumper

Hundreds gather to remember fallen Idaho smokejumper

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by Karen Zatkulak

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KTVB.COM

Posted on October 4, 2013 at 7:48 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 4 at 8:07 PM

BOISE -- One week after a tragic smoke jumping accident, a Boise hero was honored and remembered.

Hundreds gathered Friday to celebrate the life of one of the area's leading smokejumpers, Mark Urban, who died in the line of duty.

The processional down Fairview Avenue was the first glimpse at how much Urban meant to so many. Dozens of fire trucks, and ambulances, all lined up to escort Urban's friends and family from his funeral to his memorial service.

The somber service was held just outside the National Interagency Fire Center.

A smokejumper plane flew overhead, releasing a bright streamer for each of the 11 years Urban performed one of the most difficult and dangerous jobs.

"He was definitely one of our best smokejumpers, just a great human being, he respected everybody,  he was a hard worker," said fellow smokejumper and friend Jake Brollier. "I don't know anyone who, when first meeting the guy, wouldn't love him."

Urban died in a parachuting accident while training near Prairie on September 27Th.

On Friday, friends and family from across the country were in Boise to celebrate his life and sacrifice.

"My life and all our lives will be richer for simply having known Mark," said friend Phil Lind.

Under a flag, surrounded by fire trucks, his friends, family and fellow smokejumpers said goodbye to a life taken too soon.

"These fire trucks are all going back in their bays, everyone will fold their suits up and this will be done," said Steve Baker. "But Mark Urban in our hearts will never be over, and this family is your family now and we will never forget him."

Urban was saluted as a husband, son, and brother; a man who loved adventure, whose quiet influence will live on as an example to those who knew him and those who didn't.

"I'll miss everything about him, his smile, his curly hair, his big beard, his work ethic, he was inspiring to me and everyone around him," said Brollier.

Urban is the 33rd wildland firefighter lost in the line of duty this year across the country.

He worked at the Great Basin Smoke jumpers Base in Boise.

An investigation team is looking into exactly what happened to cause Urban's fatal accident.

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