Widow Says Fallen Firefighter Memorial Week Helps Her Cope

11 News Anchor Dianne Derby talks to firefighters.
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When you sit in a room of heartbroken firefighters surrounding a widow it's hard not to feel the pain of their burden.

"Firefighters are supposed to put out fires, but one thing I can say about David Hildrop is he lit a fire in me," said Pat Hildrop.

Hildrop says her husband, David, died on February 8 of this year.

"He died of leukemia, because of complications from leukemia because of his job," said Hildrop.

Hildrop said the things her husband breathed in fighting fires over 35 years eventually led to his death.

David's colleagues brought Hildrop to Colorado Springs from Canada to meet other families going thorough similar pain.

"This is the probably the most beautiful place we can come to have a firefighter recognized," said firefighter Colin Grieve.

Hildrop said coming to the events in the Springs has given her a new hope.

"It just pulled me together," said Hildrop. "It made me feel alive again coming here. I don't feel like I'm the only one. I have had people just come give me a hug today, strangers over at Target when I was shopping because they saw I was the wife of a dead firefighter."

Grieve has been coming to this memorial event for 17 years. He said it's important to remember those who have given their lives to protect their communities.

"It could be family members, friends, comrades, someone from the community, it could just be a friend," said Grieve. "We're all here as a family, and we unite together to support each other...it's something that we do."