On Jan. 30, 2021, a memorial parade lined the streets of College Corner for one of its most beloved residents, Jonathan Britt Hensley.

The funeral processional began at the Trinity House of Prayer and ended at the College Corner Cemetery. Pastor Hensley led the parade, followed by his family and close friends, along with a couple College Corner firetrucks pulling up the rear. In coordination with fire departments from Liberty, Camden, Jasper Township, Riley Township and Reid EMS, Hensley's last drive through town had the way paved with an endless stream of firetrucks and ambulances. Residents gathered outside of their homes. They waved tiny American flags in tribute to their friend.

Britt's gear was passionately presented by his fellow firefighters as the convoy rolled by. They all stood at a stern military attention as his hearse drove under an American flag, extended from two ladders, in front of the firehouse. I spoke with lifetime college corner resident, Sandy Johnson, who was at the memorial.

"It was a very sad day. He was a very kind and giving man. You will never find anyone more well-liked." Sandy went on to add, "Anyone will tell you, Britt always had a saying. When he would drive by, he would shout, 'What a wonderful day the Lord has made us!' Just to get a smile out of you."

The memorial parade ended at the College Corner Cemetery. Family and close friends gathered around his grave for a short ceremony given by Britt's lifelong friend, Doug Murray. After he was laid to rest, his firemen brothers paid one final tribute. A soft drumroll of “Taps” echoed through the hollow ceiling at the CC Firehouse. It was played by UCHS student, Ethan Powers. Lastly, a mock dispatch went out across Union County scanners. A somber voice said an honorary goodbye, then gave Britt Hensley's call sign, just one more time.

Shawn Johnson, assistant fire chief, took part in all the events. He was Britt's close friend and sponsor into the fire department.

Shawn had this to say: "Its still very hard. I don't think any of us have gotten past losing Britt and we might never get over it." Shawn ended our conversation with this: "I knew Britt all my life. He was a great friend. And, no matter what kind of fire, I could always count on him to be by my side. He is surely missed."