Darius Rucker helped honor the memory of a fallen hero recently, paying his respects for a firefighter lost in the line of duty. And the touching moment was captured for posterity.
Recorded by Audacy Country host Kelly Ford, the moment was shared by Rucker and Columbian Fire Company Number One in Rockland County, New York — a group of brothers still struggling after the death of one of their own. Firefighter Jared Lloyd died battling a blaze at a nearby assisted living facility on March 23, and Ford knew his favorite artist was Rucker. So naturally, she got him and the company on a video call together.
The idea was just for the “Wagon Wheel” hit maker to say hello express his condolences, but it ended up being so much more.
Rucker and the guys in Lloyd’s crew chatted together for more than half an hour, with everyone sharing stories about Lloyd and the fallen hero’s two young sons joining in — one of whom is named Darius in Rucker’s honor. And since the boys couldn’t help themselves from singing “Wagon Wheel” all through the chat, the whole company decided to make it a thing.
A video captured the scene at the end of the call, with everyone singing along to the bittersweet anthem arm-in-arm. It was a powerful way of remembering a friend and hero, and a reminder of country’s power to connect us, all at the same time.