NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Grey skies and rain reflected the mood in Midtown Friday at the funeral for a decorated Marine and 15-year veteran of the FDNY.Jean Louis, 52, Struck And Killed While Trying To Fix Flat Tire On Long Island Expressway In Queens
Friday, fellow firefighters lined Fifth Avenue in the rain as a fire truck carrying their fallen comrade’s flag-covered casket arrived at St. Thomas Church.
His casket was taken out of the funeral home in the Bronx and placed onto his company fire engine as his family looked on.
From there, a procession leading to St. Thomas Episcopal Church on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, where hundreds of firefighters and Marines lined the street.
Watch: Procession Departs Funeral Home In The Bronx
They saluted their fallen comrade. As the casket was brought inside, a light rain began to fall.
“He didn’t pound his chest, he didn’t try to impress or drone on about what he was going to do. He just did it. He placed his Marines’ welfare above his own always,” said Sgt. Major Christopher Armstrong of the U.S. Marine Corps.
WATCH: Funeral for Staff Sgt. Christopher Slutman, Part 1
WATCH: Funeral for Staff Sgt. Christopher Slutman, Part 2
As a marine, the 43-year-old served two combat missions. He was also an Eagle Scout and a 15 year veteran of the FDNY.
He received a medal in 2014 for rescuing a woman from a fire.
“Chris crawled on his belly through the smoke to a rear bedroom and found an unconscious woman. He did this without the protection of the fire hose,” said FDNY Battalion Chief Christopher Williamson.
Those who knew him best talked about his humility and his leadership skills.
“He was everything right about us. And the world needs more Christopher Kenly Aldrick Slutmans,” said Armstrong.
They also touched on his lighter side, like the time he was drinking a giant pink milkshake.
“I jokingly said to him ‘Chris, you’re going to ruin my image of you.’ Jarhead Marine Corps warriors don’t drink pink milkshakes. At this point, he took a long sip, making sure to get his nose down in the whipped cream, and said ‘This one does,'” said Williamson.
Christopher Slutman held a lot of title. But his most important role: Husband to Shannon and father to three little girls.
“Girls, your daddy is and forever will be our hero. And this world is a better place to have been by such a man. Semper fidelis and may God bless you,” said Armstrong.
“Today our city mourns a hero: Firefighter Christopher Slutman. And he represents the best of us,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“On behalf of all 8.6 million New Yorkers, I offer my deepest condolences to this good family, to all the brave men and women of the FDNY and United State Marine Corps, to all who had the privilege of knowing Chris,” de Blasio said. “God bless you all.”
Outside, his wife and daughters clung to one another as they were presented with his helmet.
On Saturday, there will be a dignified transfer and he will be laid to rest at Arlington National Ceremony on Tuesday.