Story of a hero: Nashville country star dedicates song to fallen Fredericton officer
Kayley Hill never had the chance to meet Const. Sara Burns, but the country music star is doing everything she can to make sure the fallen officer’s legacy lives on.
Burns was one of four people killed during a shooting spree in Fredericton last August. Const. Robb Costello, Donnie Robichaud, and Bobbie Lee Wright were also killed.
Burns’ story inspired Nashville country music star Kayley Hill to write the song Story of a Hero — not only for Burns, but for anyone who’s lost a loved one in the line of duty.
“To go and sacrifice her life out there is incredible to me,” Hill said. “On top of that, be so committed to the causes that she was passionate about. She was just amazing.”
Back in November, Hill ended up meeting Burns’ widower, Steven Burns, at one of her performances in Nashville. Burns and his friends watched her sing for hours.
“He was there the whole time and I just loved it,” Hill told Global News in a phone interview Monday. “Afterwards they said, ‘I would love to bring you to Canada and have you play at my wife’s memorial benefit.’
“Then, he told me the story about Sara and it was just so touching. Immediately I was just like, ‘I’m going to write you a song.’”
And write a song she did. Hill chipped away at it, writing the tune in different segments. The final product, she says, is something she’s proud of.
Tied up her boot and pulled back her hair. Picked up her belt, badge that she’d wear.
She had hope every single day.
Never too old to try something new. Stay at home mom now dressed up in blue.
She didn’t want the glory or the fame. Just to help the lost, the broken and ashamed.
You can see how her memory lives on, because we’re here now to pass her baton.
A legacy of love is carried on, the story of a hero.
Hill posted the song on her Facebook page on Thursday as part of National Police Week. It has since been viewed and shared thousands of times, with the vast majority coming from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
“Being able to write a song that could potentially bring healing to somebody, to write a song that could celebrate someone’s life and give it to the people that knew that person, that’s within my power to do that and it’s almost like, why would you not?”
Hill also performed the song at a benefit concert for Burns in Fredericton, where afterward, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room.
“I could not look at anybody in the eyes as I sang it,” Hill said, her voice breaking. “If I really think about it and if I really melt into the whole theme of the song, it’s overcoming.”
“I feel like I have a second family and a second home (in Fredericton) now.”
WATCH: Husband of slain Fredericton officer Const. Sara Burns bids tearful goodbye
Burns was a stay-at-home mom before deciding to become a police officer at age 40. She was a committed advocate for raising awareness of mental health and wellness initiatives, domestic abuse and continued education.
Hill believes Burns’ story is one that will resonate with a wide variety of people.
“It just blows my mind that somebody at 40 years old that I need to do more and I’m going to commit my life to helping the community be better,” Hill said. “I have so much admiration for that kind of person.”
All the money from digital downloads of the song will be donated to nami.org, a charity that provides hope and recovery for those struggling with mental health. The Sara Burns Memorial Fund has so far raised over $800,000.
Hill plans to perform the song at her shows moving forward, all while explaining her inspiration behind it.
“I think the song has kind of been a blessing to a lot of people, and that’s how I want the song to live.”
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