Calgary fallen firefighters remembered at annual memorial service
The 9th annual Fallen Firefighters Memorial began with the ringing of the bells today as Mayor Naheed Nenshi, members of City Council and citizens joined the Calgary Fire Department and families of the fallen in remembering 42 Calgary firefighters who gave their lives in service to their community.
“We are here today to honour those who have lost their lives while answering the call to serve,” said Mayor Nenshi. “These Calgary firefighters passed away due to their work protecting our city and our loved ones.”
Today’s ceremony at the Police Officers and Firefighters Tribute Plaza, located in front of the Calgary Municipal Building, included a moment of silence, laying of wreaths and ringing of the bell in honour of each fallen firefighter.
“Firefighters are committed to making a difference in our community every day, and in doing so, often risk their lives to protect and save others,” said Fire Chief Steve Dongworth. “When everyone else is running away from danger, these extraordinary people face that danger head-on. Today, in addition to mourning the loss of these courageous firefighters, we celebrate their service and thank them for being there and helping us through some of our darkest moments.”
The base of the outdoor memorial, which includes a three-story monument called Walls of Memory/Lantern of Light, is inscribed with the names and photos of the nine Calgary firefighters who lost their lives on active duty. Those firefighters who lost their lives due to illnesses as a result firefighting, have their names inscribed on plaques which were included in today’s ceremony, but normally on display at Fire Department Headquarters.
In recognition of the memorial service, fire stations across the city have lowered their flags to half-mast from sunrise to sunset. The flags will also be lowered on Sept. 13th and 19th, in honour of both Canada’s National Fallen Firefighters’ Service in Ottawa, Ontario, and the International Association of Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
For more information on the Calgary Fire Department and our fallen firefighters, visit calgary.ca/fire.