Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Honoring Gloucester’s Fallen Heroes

On Sunday, June 8th I was honored to attend the Gloucester Fire Department’s annual memorial ceremony dedicated to the city’s fallen firefighters.  Commencing at 8:30am, current and retired firefighters, elected officials, and others gathered at Gloucester’s Public Works yard on Poplar St., and then lead a procession to the Firefighter’s Memorial located at the Cherry Hill Cemetery.

During Sunday’s ceremony, flags were placed on grave sites of the city’s fallen firefighters, including the eight who died in the line of duty.  The ceremony also featured heartfelt speeches, and a moment of silence.  The ceremony provided me with an important opportunity to personally thank the members of our fire department for their dedicated and selfless service to the community each and every day.

Firefighters in Rockport and Essex also participated in similar memorial ceremonies on Sunday, while Manchester will host a ceremony later this month.  Posted below are several photos I captured during the event.  Also below is the Firefighter's Prayer, which is recited at these ceremonies.

Firefighter's Prayer
 When I am called to duty, God,
wherever flames may rage,
give me strength to save a life,
whatever be its age.

Help me embrace a little child
before it is too late,
or save an older person from
the horror of that fate.

Enable me to be alert,
and hear the weakest shout,
quickly and efficiently
to put the fire out.

I want to fill my calling,
to give the best in me,
to guard my friend and neighbor,
and protect his property.

  And if according to Your will
I must answer death's call,
bless with your protecting hand,
my family one and all.