Byram Township rallied to support the family of Corporal Hayden Harris, and to make sure his name is never forgotten.
Corporal Harris was kidnapped from the Fort Drum Army garrison in upstate New York and murdered in Byram Township. Township firefighters found Harris’s body buried in the snow on Dec. 19, while escorting Santa Claus through the township on their annual Santa ride, a day after he was reported missing from the Fort Drum.
During the township’s reorganization meeting on Jan. 5, Councilman Jack Gallagher thanked the four firefighters and the township police officer who represented Byram Township at Harris’s funeral in Tennessee. Harris is from Guys, Tennessee.
Fire Chief Todd Rudloff said Harris’s family and town truly appreciates the support they’re receiving from Byram residents, the township council, fire department, and police department. It was probably one of the most humbling experiences he has ever been a part of, Rudloff said.
Rudloff said the Byram Fire Department is recognizing Corporal Harris’s service to the nation by making him an honorary firefighter. He said Harris’s name will always be read during the Memorial Day parade “so that he’ll never be forgotten for the senseless act which happened unfortunately in our town.”
Mayor Alexander Rubenstein said the township is planning a memorial for Harris. The council agreed to discuss a sub-committee of residents, possibly from Ross Road, where Harris was found, that would also include Rudloff, council members, and township administrators.