Remembering the Fallen

Last week, I made a phone call to our newly appointed Chaplain to let him know about the Bells Across America program by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. That one phone call is all it took for my brother Barry Carr to run with this. Around 10am this morning, Barry came in the station and we began going over the agenda for the day. We were going to have a bag piper play, but at the last minute he had to cancel….but Barry wasn’t worried. He was prepared to make the best out of what we had. We had shared the event on Facebook, sent information to the local TV station, and it was printed in the local paper.

We had no idea how many people would show up. We didn’t really care. The reason we were doing this ceremony wasn’t for any TV camera or any photograph. The reason we were doing this was to remember the fallen. Even if we would have been the only ones in the station, the event would have continued. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case. Around 2:30pm today, the media arrived and set up in the apparatus bay. Due to weather, we decided to have the event inside with Engine 1 as the backdrop. It couldn’t have turned out any better. Retirees, firefighters families, and members of local churches attended the event.

The ceremony was opened with a prayer from Chaplain Carr. He then led into the quote from Chief Edward F. Croker of FDNY. A portion of the quote is as follows:

“I have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a fireman. The position may, in the eyes of some, appear to be a lowly one; but we who know the work which the fireman has to do believe that his is a noble calling. Our proudest moment is to save lives. Under the impulse of such thoughts, the nobility of the occupation thrills us and stimulates us to deeds of daring, even of supreme sacrifice.

Chaplain Carr explained the eight points of the Maltese Cross and the meaning of each. The history of the bell ceremony in regards to the fire service was described about how the bell was used to signify the beginning and end of a firefighters tour.  Engineer Bossert, Firefighter Bledsoe, Firefighter Delph, and Firefighter Lindholm read off the list of the 85 fallen firefighters names who were honored this weekend at the National Fire Academy.

I could not help but to think about each and every survivor from every one of those firefighters who had given the ultimate sacrifice. The bell was then struck 3 rings for 3 times. The strike of the bell sends chills down my back each time that I hear it…and unfortunately the last two times I have heard it have been at funerals for two of my very close friends. The event was called to a close by Chaplain Carr saying the Firefighter’s Prayer.

Words can not explain the pride and honor we showed today as we all participated in the ceremony. I believe those in attendance were pleased with the way that we remembered those who have passed on. I hope this is something we can make an annual event here in the Model City. Below are a few more pictures from the event.