Reston Limousine was humbled and honored to serve the family of Michael M. Quin, a 28-year-old Marine Corps captain and pilot who was killed last month a helicopter crash during a training exercise in California .On Monday, chauffeur Doug Kennedy drove Capt. Quin’s family and friends from Reagan National Airport to a funeral home in Purcellville, where the family resides. He wrote this moving account of his experience:
Today I carried the family of Capt. Michael M. Quin, a 28-year-old Marine killed in the helicopter training exercise in California. I’ve gotta tell you this was the most amazing trip I’ve been involved with. I’ve driven politicians, foreign dignitaries, famous performers and the super-wealthy but nothing can compare to being involved with this. I’ve been involved with a number of funerals, even a… few Arlington Military funerals. And I’ve driven in plenty of police escort situations where they block all access the the road while the convoy passes, nothing can compare to this.
I have the family of the captain following the hearse and we go out onto the DCA to witness the removal of the casket by the Marine Corps. Very moving. Passengers gather at the windows of the plane and terminal. We’re led out of the airport by 50 Harley riding VA State Police onto GW Parkway (did I mention we were followed by probably a hundred bikers?) and when we passed a group of DCA Fire trucks, emergency lights on with personel saluting I got a little choked up.
Down towards Spout Run another set, Arlington Fire trucks, lights on, everyone saluting and I’m choking back tears. All intersections shut down from Spout Run so we can get onto Rt. 66 and South Fairfax Fire & Rescue Dept is up on the bridge lights going everyone saluting and I’m starting to lose it. I’m thinking if I see one more fire truck I’m not going to be able to see through the tears.
But then, Fairfax, McLean, Tysons, Great Falls, Vienna, Reston, Herndon, Sterling, Ashburn, Loudoun County Fire & Rescue, Leesburg. Every bridge we crossed under from the time we got on Rt. 66 till we got on West Rt. 7 had Fire and Rescue equipment on it with a dozen or more personel all saluting or carrying American Flag’s. I was a blubbering mess.
On Rt. 7, Loudoun County police cars in the median strip, lights going, out of their cars saluting. We pull off the ramp to Purcellvile and all traffic stopped for us we turn the corner and people E V E R Y W H E R E. Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Little League sports kids and what looked to be the whole town all carrying candles, most with American flags. I’m telling you there wasn’t an inch between people all the way into town to the funeral home. Tears are streaming down my face. I’m trying hard not to run into the hearse that has slowed down for everyone.
We drive by Purcellville Volunteer Fire Dept, everyone outside saluting or hands over hearts, candles. Turn up into town and they have their ladder trucks with ladders extended high above with a huge American Flag hanging down between, massive crowd of people (I hear the Mom say “look at all these people, we’ve never even met them”…tears). We pass underneath. We turn onto the street where the funeral home is and all the Police have their bikes lined up on both sides of the street parked, motors off and they’re all standing in front of their bikes at attention, saluting. I’ve lost it now thank God we’re stopping.
INCREDIBLE experience. THE most memorable and moving experience I’ve had in a very loooong time. The loyalty, fellowship, comraderie, commitment, devotion for this fellow firefighter who died during a training accident while serving in the Marines. What an honor and a privledge for me to play even such a small roll in helping this kid come home and to witness such an event first hand. I’ll never forget it!
R.I.P. Capt. Quin, and thank you, you made the ultimate sacrifice for your town and for your country.