(Riverton, WY) Family, friends, and first responders from all over the state of Wyoming assembled at CWC’s Robert A. Peck auditorium on Sunday to honor and celebrate the life of EMT Tyeler Harris.
A flyover and procession of EMS and first responder vehicles arrived at CWC preceding the services. Wyoming Honor/Color Guard and Patriot Guard Riders stood at attention with flags as family members and guests assembled for the service. The LVFD Pipe and Drums performed “Going Home” as the family was escorted into the auditorium.
Officiating was Pastor Jason Ricks of Emmaus Road Community Church in Laramie, who gave an opening prayer and a reading of Tyeler’s obituary.
A song was performed by Layton Howerton, after which were special sharings by Tyeler’s sister, his father, Memorial Hospital of Carbon County Emergency Department Manager Dan Starr, and Senator John Barrasso.
“Tyler was an incredible friend and confidante,” said Sharrayah Bowen, Tyeler’s sister. “He was so dedicated to his whole family and doing what he could to better himself and support Ashley and the boys. He was so proud of finding his purpose in saving lives and learning how to help people in their time of need. We all have so many memories with him, and while he may be gone, his impact on more lives than just mine will forever continue.”
“The greatest sacrifice that anyone can make is this,” said Tyeler’s father, Jason Harris. “That’s why we’re here. So hug the ones you love…spend time with them…make that your priority. The telephone, the job, the computer, the TV will always be there. They won’t.”
“One thing that with our jobs as a First Responder is you start becoming jaded, and you start losing as to why you’re in this job,” said Dan Starr, “Tyeler brought a lot of that back to us because Tyeler was upbeat, he was joyful…he wanted to help out in the community, wanted to help people. He enjoyed helping people, he absolutely loved it…I’ve been in this for over 15 years and he actually brought a lot of that back to me as to why my purpose is here and what we need to be doing to help people out…he’s going to be greatly missed; he had a huge heart.”
“All of Wyoming feels this loss…like we’ve lost a friend, we’ve lost a neighbor, we’ve lost a brother,” said Senator Barrasso. “We will all tell you that we’ve also lost a hero…a hero is somebody who puts their own life on the line for the benefit and safety of others. And that’s what he did; he did it every day, and he loved it…”
“You hear in Wyoming, the ‘Cowboy Code’: Live each day with courage, take pride in your work, and do what needs to be done’,” Barrasso continued. “That’s what he did every day. He was the Cowboy Code, and he did it with great courage and also with great passion.”
After his remarks, Barrasso presented Tyeler’s wife, Ashley, with an American flag that had been flown over the United States Capitol in Tyeler’s name, then a flag presentation by the Combined State of Wyoming Color/Honor Guards was accompanied by the song “Amazing Grace” by the LVFD Pipes and Drums.
“Just like all of you who are first responders, Tyeler had the heart of a hero,” Pastor Ricks said in his closing remarks. “Certainly he was tough, certainly he was brave, certainly he was willing to work long hours or go without sleep if that was what was necessary…but more than anything he was a hero because he was always willing to put the needs of others first.”
A reception for the family, guests, and the public was held in the lobby after the services.
To watch the service in its entirety, click here.