- Ever since a tall, stone memorial of a firefighter bowing
his head was placed at the front of the county's Fire
Training Center, firefighters have come together at that
site once a year to honor their own.
They continued the tradition with the 28th annual Rockland
County Volunteer Firemen's All-Faiths Memorial Service.
Yesterday's event was held just before sundown, hours after
another service dedicating Hillcrest Fire Department's new
memorial, which honors the department's 235 members who have
died since 1915.
"We have to remember. We have to honor those that have gone
before," said Franklin Knower, chaplain of the county's Fire
Advisory Board, which hosted the county event. "And if we
don't remember, the entire significance of helping our
neighbors in their time of need is gone."
Dozens of firefighters and ladies auxiliary members
representing all of Rockland's 26 volunteer fire departments
came out last night to pay respects to those who died and
gave their time to fight fires.
There were few speeches at the ceremony. Instead, the
firefighters took part in songs and prayers, and the
Rockland County Firefighters Pipes & Drums band played two
songs for the audience.
Toward the end of the event, individuals from each fire
department and ladies auxiliary were called up to add
flowers to a dedication board in front of a podium.
Knower explained that the board was mostly blue, symbolizing
the lights in firefighters' personal cars, and the flowers
were red and white, to represent the ladies auxiliaries and
those firefighters who have died.
After all the flowers were added, they created the shape of
a cross inside a Star of David.
Afterward, Bob Huslinger, a Stony Point firefighter, rang a
bell three times, something done at the end of a
firefighter's day or at the end of an alarm.
Earlier, the Hillcrest firefighters held a ceremony for
their memorial, made to replace an outdated one. The
memorial is made up of the department's original gong, two
brick towers with the 235 names on them and a statue of a
"We dedicated it to all those people who served this
community, who gave their time for all these years to the
community," said Pete Carney, a Hillcrest firefighter.
(Image: Ben Rubin/The Journal News)
Rockland County Firemen's Training Center
35 Fireman's Memorial Dr
Pomona, NY 10970