Crowds poured into Portuguese Hall, the afternoon of Nov. 12, to honor the memory of Del Fiorentino. The moving tribute included speeches by Assemblyman Wes Chesbro, who was instrumental in expediting the legislative process of dedicating the three mile stretch of Highway 1, north of Fort Bragg, as the “Deputy Sheriff Ricky Del Fiorentino Memorial Highway.”
“We understand that every day, as you do your job, that you are putting yourself at risk on our behalf,” said Chesbro, sending a larger message to all law enforcement officers.
Sheriff Tom Allman graciously hosted the ceremony, often speaking directly to Beth Del Fiorentino who sat in the front row. Deputy Sheriff Craig Walker brought many to tears as he choked up while speaking at the podium. Julie Whipple also shared her memories of Del Fiorentino, making it clear how well loved and respected he was by his community.
“This is not a day of mourning. It’s a day to celebrate the memory of Ricky Del Fiorentino,” Allman said in an earlier interview while guests gathered at the Cal Fire headquarters at 801 Main Street, prior to a short ceremony unveiling the sign at highway mile marker 62. A procession walked from the unveiling to Portuguese Hall for the ceremony.
The ceremony closed with the Fort Bragg High School football team and cheerleaders gathering on stage while Beth Del Fiorentino did the honors of unveiling the sign that will be placed up further on the highway.
A beautiful honoring of a man large in stature, with a heart twice the size.