West Valley firefighter remembered in special ceremony

West Valley firefighter remembered in special ceremony »Play Video
YAKIMA, Wash. -- Around a thousand people packed in to the West Valley High School Auditorium Saturday afternoon.

Fire crews from near and far paid tribute to one of their own with a special ceremony.

Firefighters stood in unison and complete silence as the ashes of their fallen friend were carried into the auditorium.

The special service was held to honor Samuel Amaral Gallaway.
The 20-year-old West Valley graduate died in an accident last week. Saturday's service was considered a celebration of his life.
Many said he spent his life dedicating it to help others.

"What really defined Samuel in my mind is his service to community and how important the community the was to him and how involved he was I think that's evident by the outpouring his family has received over the past week and then today here at the service," said Elle Behring, Samuel's Cousin

Samuel's involvement as a firefighter gave him the opportunity to spend time in outdoors, something he loved. His family says he was an avid hunter and sportsman. He was one of five siblings.
Many family and friends expressed how much they will miss his smile.

"It seems to be even harder when we are faced with the death and loss of someone in their youth," said Pastor Jason Williams.

"He would be so proud and so honored to see all of you here supporting him," said Mark Gallaway, Samuel's stepfather.

The service seemed to serve as a comfort for those mourning a loss, however, his family says the reality of what happened is still very raw.

"I can't seem to remove the tragedy out of my head," said Jesse Gonzalez, Samuel's uncle. "This is a reminder of how precious how life is."