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Fallen Fire Fighters Remembered at Annual Memorial
Published: 10/20/2011 18:12:00
Last Sunday, fallen firefighters were remembered at Centennial Hall at the annual Fire Fighters memorial.

Thomas Matthews, the Capital City Fire Rescue Chaplain opened the ceremony: "It's always with heavy hearts that we recognize the sacrifice of many men and women fire fighters have made to protect their communities. Today by recognizing their sacrifices, we have the opportunity to say thank you, to show our appreciation. Let their families, friends and fellow workers, and any witness of this ceremony know that we will not forget that they paid the ultimate price."

Rod Swope is the outgoing Juneau City Manager, he took his last opportunity to speak to the fire fighting community to thank them for their continuing efforts.

"It's truly been an honor for me to work with you, to get to know you;
and I really do believe I can call each one of you a friend. So therefore; be safe, take care of yourselves, and be true to your mission. And this community thanks you very much for the dedication and service that you provide" said Swope.

Public Safety Deputy Commissioner Terry Vrabec echoed the praise, and reminded us of those behind the heroes on the front line: "Not to be forgotten are the friends and families that support all the professionals in the field. They know that their loved ones are out serving the public never knowing if they are going to make it home at the end of the day. I say thank you for the service of these heroes, condolences and prayers go out to all the friends and family members. And as we honor the fallen fire fighters today, we must empower and support our fire fighters that will continue to respond to calls in the future, knowing the risks involved, as they try to keep us all safe."

Roy Johnston, a fire fighter and paramedic, spoke about the history of bells in fire department communications. He told how bells are also used to mark the passing of members of the close fire fighting community. "And so, to those who have selflessly given their lives for the good of their fellow man; their task completed, their duties well done; to our comrades; their last alarm, they're going home."

A bell was rung in 3 sets of 3 chimes to remember those who have fallen over the years, followed by a performance of the Chapel by the Lake bell choir.

By: Mikko Wilson -