Thousands Gather at Capt. Herbie Johnson's Wake

With a line that stretched around Saint Rita, thousands of well-wishers came to pay their respects to fallen firefighter Capt. Herbert Johnson.

Two ladders stand tall and an American flag hangs in between. Below, the line of firefighters in uniform, neighbors and friends stretches around the Saint Rita of Cascia Shrine Chapel. 

They are all here to pay their respects to Capt. Herbie Johnson and share their condolences with his family. 

"It's a great send off for a true hero," said Ted Johnson, Herbie's younger brother. 

Those who knew Johnson describe him as a fun-loving man who was devoted to his family and the department. 

"I think my brother a true hero," said John Johnson, another brother and member of the Chicago Police Department.

The mood inside was described as very solemn by Dan McMahon, Johnson's brother-in-law. Photos are displayed and an American flag that was present at Ground Zero during 9/11 is present, McMahon said.

Johnson was part of the Chicago Fire Department delegation that traveled to New York City after the attack to help with rescue efforts. 

Chicago firefighters, police officers and groups of firefighters from other towns and even states all made the trip to pay respects to their fallen brother.

An attendee reported that the line was upwards of three hours long, a sign of the love of his friends and the strength of the firefighter family.  

A funeral will be held at Saint Rita Thursday morning at 11 a.m. The procession will then head south down Western Avenue to Mt. Olivet Cemetery, 2755 West 111th St., where Johnson will be buried. 

Read More Coverage: 

  • Memorial Fund Established For Capt. Herbie Johnson's Family
  • Photos: A Neighborhood in Mourning
  • Veteran Chicago Firefighter Dies on Duty

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