Peyton Morse '21 died on March 12, nine days after suffering a medical emergency during training at the New York State Academy of Fire Science. He lost his life in the line of duty, and so this morning's funeral was a tribute to a fallen firefighter.
On March 6, the Watertown Fire Department chief pinned badge #94 on Morse while he laid in a hospital bed in intensive care. The 21 year old - who stepped away from the classroom this semester to pursue his lifelong dream - succumbed to his injuries one week later.
Today, hundreds of firefighters escorted his casket from Cerow Recreation Park in Clayton, NY to St. Mary's Church, where funeral services were held.
The procession was led by the Emerald Society of Pipes and Drums from the New York City Fire Department. During the service, streamed live by WWNY-TV, the Rev. Arthur LaBaff said,
"Our hearts are heavy, the mind confused, hearts are broken."
"It is hard to find words to describe such a wonderful person. Through living with Peyton in Ryan Hall, rarely missing a meal together, playing hundreds of card games together, and sharing endless laughs, I became very close with Peyton. I plan to learn from the lessons Peyton taught us through his actions. He taught us about love, compassion, selflessness, and loyalty. I am proud to have called him a friend and a brother."
Cooper Humpf '21
"He was hired by the Watertown Fire Department, his dream job, and proposed to the love of his life before the age of 22, both remarkable achievements that are rare to come by at such a young age. His upbringing from a great family and his extremely close-knit community of LaFargeville were clear in the way that he carried himself. Peyton was always attentive and caring to all he encountered. Grounded in his Catholic faith, he aspired to serve others - as evident by his career choice to serve his North Country community."
Jordan Glazier '22
When Peyton was a freshman in Ryan Hall, he struck up a relationship with Fr. Larry Anderson, O.F.M.. Every week, Peyton would assist Fr. Larry at the Grotto replacing candles. This is how Fr. Larry memorialized Peyton during a Sunday homily at a March 14 Mass:
"In a video made several years ago for student orientation leaders, former president Br. Ed describes what it means to be a Saint. These are his words: 'The Saints are the good people. When good people get to heaven they become angels. They are the ones who carry the fire.' Peyton will always be a Siena Saint. He was one of the good ones. And he is now an angel on fire, and his light shines brightly."