FDNY Honors 10 Firefighters who Died in Line of Duty in the Past Year
By Yehudit Garmaise
The FDNY held its annual Memorial Day Service at New York City's Firemen’s Monument to honor the 10 firefighters who passed away in the past year, while protecting New Yorkers.
“Gracious G-d, draw near to all of us, as we remember and give thanks for the lives and the sacrifices of 10 brave members of our department,” said the FDNY Chaplain Ann Cansfield said, as she led those assembled in prayer. “Comfort their families and friends, and grant peace and strength to all who mourn.”
As a mark of respect for the firefighters who died in the line of duty, an FDNY officer led Mayor Bill de Blasio, Fire Commissioner Dan Nigro, the Chief of Department Thomas Richardson, and others to the memorial, which is on Riverside Drive in Manhattan, to lay three ceremonial wreaths.
“These wreaths are laid in honor of our fallen members,” said the speaker, who had asked the mourning families to stand, as wreaths were laid to honor FDNY members who had died serving the Fire Service, the Emergency Medical Service, and the FDNY Department, as a whole.
After attendees observed a moment of silence, Mayor de Blasio thanked all the families for being there, and said, “We need to be here with you: in solidarity and support, and we thank you for always remembering those we have lost.
“To all the men and women of the fire department: Thank you for being here to show your support, your love to these families, and your commitment to remembering those who have fallen.”
The mayor then spoke about how the men and the women of the FDNY played such a crucial role in protecting this city, and that “this horrible disease took some of our very best.
“The 10 good people we honor today: we all need to remember the decision they made to serve others. We need to remember the bravery.
“We need to remember they did what so few in our city, our society are capable of doing: Stand up and answer the call. Put their lives on line.
“And we talk about the heroic decision, and we talk about the heroic actions that these 10 good people displayed throughout their lives, but if they were here with us today, and we gave them that praise, you would just hear the answer, ‘I was just doing my job.’
“That just tells us even more about the caliber of the 10 people we have lost.”
Richardson ended the solemn and inspiring ceremony by paying tribute to the extraordinarily brave firefighters who gave their lives to help others by saying that "they left their marks on the department."
Surprisingly, the chief of the fire department then shared some words that he said that he had read in a fire service magazine that adapted words from a Yom Kippur machzor, "from our friends in the Jewish faith," he said.
"At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter, we'll remember," Richardson read. "At the opening of the buds and in the rebirth of spring, we'll remember.
"At the shining of the sun and in the warmth of the summer, we'll remember. At the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of the autumn, we'll remember.
"As long as we live, these members whom we honor today, they too will live, for they are now part of us as we remember and honor them."