First national firefighters memorial day observed in Lethbridge

By Geoff Smith
September 11, 2017 - 12:36pm

LETHBRIDGE - It's a day that has taken on new significance, in remembering those lost in the effort, and those taking the risks today.

Monday morning, Sept. 11, uniformed Lethbridge firefighters paraded from Fire Headquarters along 4 Ave. S. to Southminster United Church for their annual Fallen Firefighter Memorial Ceremony. It also coincided with the inaugural Firefighters' National Memorial Day, and the 16th anniversary of the September 11th terror attacks.

“The world's an uncertain place, and these guys and girls in uniform, they bring us a bit of comfort in us being able to know that they're there and ready to respond for us should the need arise.”

 

– Fire chief Richard Hildebrand

The parade was led by the fire department's honour guard and pipes and drums.

"In getting together today it gives us a chance to reflect on that horrible tragedy that occurred in 2001, all the lives lost, the incredible acts of heroism that occurred that day, yet to no avail," Fire Chief Richard Hildebrand said before the parade began. He added it's a chance for the firefighting community to come together, and even for him as chief, to give thanks to the crews and responders putting themselves in harm's way even now, battling the Kenow fire that threatens Waterton.

"This smoke that's hanging heavy in the air continues to be a reminder of some of the conditions that have been faced both in our provinces and other provinces and states," he said. "The world's an uncertain place, and these guys and girls in uniform, they bring us a bit of comfort in us being able to know that they're there and ready to respond for us should the need arise."

At the ceremony, the risk to firefighters caused by burning carcinogens was also acknowledged.

The Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation reports more than 1,300 firefighters have died in the line of duty since 1848. Seven have lost their lives in Lethbridge since 1970.

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