Medals for Brave Men.
A scene of unusual importance took place the other day when medals were presented by the board of lady managers of the World’s Fair to Chief E. W. Murphy, Lieut. W. H. Miller, Lieut. Wm. Barker and Hans Rehfeldt for bravery exhibited in rescuing Capt. Fitzpatrick. The four men were called to the Woman’s building, where the presentation look place, and Mayor Harrison called the gathering to order and with solemn earnestness said:
“ We have met here to give evidence of the appreciation held by the lady managers for an act of bravery. It has probably struck you ladies who are new to Chicago as being much more an act of bravery than we esteem it. Bravery on the part of the fire department is a part of the department. Bravery on the part of the firemen is part of the fireman duty. When he enters the service he enters it because he is brave. But to me the bravest men on earth, taking them as a whole, are Chicago firemen. When Murphy and his comrades went up to save Fitzpatrick they did not think of bravery. Bravery is not considered by a brave man. He is going to do his duty, not to show his valor. He is going to save life and nothing but that. I doubt if Murphy, Miller, Barker and Rehfeldt even thought of their peril. There was their brother, their comrade, Capt. James Fitzpatrick, to save, and they thought only of him. That was true bravery.”
Mrs. Trautman then presented the medals. Chief Murphy’s is gold, the others silver. From a bar, containing the name, the medal depends by slender chains, the chains passing through an open design formed of a miniature ladder crossed by a fireman’s axe. A fireman’s helmet forms the centre piece of the. medal. Around it is the following inscription : “ In
appreciation of the heroism and self-sacrifice in risking your life to save that of Capt. James Fitzpatrick and others at the fire of July 10, 1893, at Jackson Park.” On the reverse is inscribed : “ Awarded by vote of board of lady managers of the World’s Columbian Commission.”