When driving around the city of Clinton at night, you can spot them – a red porch light outside of a home, glowing in the darkness, or a yard light that throws a red hue into the night sky.
They stand silent, but their presence is like a shout in the night.
‘Never forget,” is their unified message.
The red lights that stand out after nightfall tether us to a dark day in Clinton’s history, reminding us that Jan. 5, this Sunday, marks exactly one year since the death of Clinton Fire Lt. Eric Hosette.
Hosette was killed in the line of duty while fighting a fire that led to an explosion at Clinton’s Archer Daniels Midland plant. Clinton firefighter Adam Cain was seriously injured.
Hosette’s funeral service was one week later in Riverview Park, at the city bandshell. Hundreds of firefighters from far and wide paid their respects at the funeral; during the service, snowflakes fell from the sky as if they were tears from heaven itself.
In the weeks after his death, the community forged ahead with fundraisers and benefits for the families, donned T-shirts in his memory, prayed for Adam Cain as he recovered and supported the Hosette family as they grieved.
The community signified its support for those firefighters and the department by using red bulbs to light their front steps and illuminate their porches and yards.
In the year since, the Clinton Fire Department bought a firetruck that bears Hosette’s badge number. City plans call for the installation of a fallen police and firefighter monument that will memorialize him and his sacrifice for decades to come.
And today, red lights still dot the nightscape, a reminder that Eric Hosette, his sacrifice and the important work by Clinton firefighters will never be forgotten.