by Lisa Tome
David R. Barr, Jr. lived a simple, humble life and died in the line of duty.
His heroics are about to be saluted in song.
WXCY radio, Perryville Fire Company, and country music recording artist Katie Armiger are hosting a benefit concert to honor Barr.
Barr, 64, of Port Deposit, died Thursday, November 7, 2013. His death was the first line of duty death in the history of the Community Fire Company of Perryville. Captain Barr was injured while on duty directing traffic on Friday, October 25. He was struck by a vehicle following an accident on Route 40. He had been a fire police officer for 13 years in Perryville. He was also a member of Water Witch Fire Company for 47 years and was a retired firefighter from the Perry Point Veterans Administration Medical Center with 27 years of service.
On Saturday, January 18, at Minker Hall at the Community Fire Company of Perryville, the Salute to Heroes Benefit concert will be held. All ticket proceeds benefit the David Barr, Jr. Memorial Fund
In early December, Armiger was in Cecil County performing for a Boys & Girls Clubs of Cecil County benefit during WXCY's Christmas in the Country. While in the area, Armiger and her management team met with members of the Barr family and had lunch at the Perryville Fire Company's Station 6.
Donna Barr, said she is amazed that her husband is being remembered this way. "I'm just amazed, flabbergasted. I think it's wonderful that these people are taking their time to honor a humble hero and emergency personnel in the area. This is a light in the devastation we have faced," she said.
Barr said that during the December meeting with Armiger, Armiger expressed her appreciation for first responders.
"I guess I'm still in shock that somebody wanted to do this," Barr said. "It's a good thing, recognizing the fire departments for the work that they do and the danger they face."
WXCY disc jockey, Brad Austin helped bring the concert plans to fruition. He and Armiger are friends. He said she is "passionate" about recognizing first responders.
"WXCY reported on the accident when we heard about Captain Barr. Everyday, we updated it following the accident. We were all heartbroken when we heard he passed away. We felt a calling to do something," said Austin. "We felt a calling to honor police, firefighters, and EMTs."
Austin said the plans are to make the Salute to Heroes Concert an annual event.
"We are extremely pleased to work with Perryville Fire Company. We are humbled to do this event. It's one small thing we can do that we hope helps out in the long run," said Austin.
Shawn Buchanan, chief of Perryville Fire Company, said this event is a "very unique and fitting tribute" for Barr. "We are very appreciative. Hopefully we can honor him the best we can and take care of his family," said Buchanan. Tickets for the concert which features, performances by Armiger, a DJ, and dancing, cost $25 per person and seating is limited to 400 tickets. Tickets may be purchased individually or in blocks of eight. The event is for those 21 and over. Doors open at 7 p.m. Music is from 8-11 p.m. There will be an open bar. To reserve your tickets go to wxcyfm.com.