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Thread: Ride To Colorado IAFF MEMORIAL 2002 Assorted Photos

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    Ride To Colorado Has Started 2002

    The 16th annual IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial
    Event Information: IAFF Annual Memorial Service Set for Sept. 21 The 16th annual IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial Ceremony, scheduled for Sept. 21, 2002 in Colorado Springs, is expected to be the largest in the memorial

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    REMEMBER 911

    WORCESTER FIRE REMEMBERS 911

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    IAFF MEMORIAL COLORADO


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    Heroes Remembered IAFF Memorial 2002

    Heroes Remembered IAFF Memorial
    The word hero and all its derivations are sure to be used liberally when thousands gather at the Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Colorado Springs to honor 425 union firefighters who died in the line of duty. Saturday, in the southwest corner of Memorial Park, in reference to the firefighters whose names will be etched onto the marble wall, the words hero and heroism will be appropriate, firefighters say.
    photo below

    Firefighter Bobby Karcher from Ladder Co. 132 FDNY in Brooklyn has painted on his helmet the names of the six firefighters from his firehouse who were killed at the World Trade Center
    PHOTO JERILEE BENNETT THE GAZETTE

    http://gazette.com/


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    REMEMBER 911

    IAFF COLORADO SPRINGS

    The memory of firefighters lost in the Sept. 11 attacks is fresh for many who visit the firefighters memorial in Memorial Park. LaVonne Bazemore, fighting back tears Tuesday, understands the dedication of a firefighter, having a brother in uniform and a father who served for 20 years.
    The newest section of the memorial lists the names of 347 fire personnel who died in the World Trade Center attacks.
    Thousands are expected to attend annual ceremonies Saturday honoring the fallen
    photo BRYAN OLLER -- THE GAZETTE

    http://gazette.com/

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    Many firefighters say they're not heroes

    All in a day's work
    Many firefighters say they're not heroes

    By Bill McKeown and Jeremy Meyer The Gazette

    The word hero and all its derivations are sure to be used liberally when thousands gather at the Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Colorado Springs to honor 425 union firefighters who died in the line of duty.

    Saturday, in the southwest corner of Memorial Park, in reference to the firefighters whose names will be etched onto the marble wall, the words hero and heroism will be appropriate, firefighters say.

    The names of 343 New York City firefighters who died in the World Trade Center collapse make up the bulk of those being added to the memorial this year. The 82 others come from across the United States and Canada. They include people such as Linda Hernandez of Miami, who died Sept. 18, 2001, two-and-a-half years after being overcome by noxious smoke while fighting a fire on a roof.

    On a day dedicated to those who have died, it's unlikely a lot of attention will be focused on the living, the men and women still on the line.

    That's OK with firefighters numbed by the attention they are receiving after Sept. 11.

    In the year since the terrorist attacks, the appearance of FDNY hats and T-shirts can be seen almost everywhere, even thousands of miles from the Big Apple.

    Firefighters across the country, including those in Colorado Springs, have heard themselves called heroes, in the media or by the people they serve.

    It's not a title they wear comfortably. It's not a description they think fits.

    Firefighters are, mainly working stiffs, a down-to-earth, modest lot. Many think the words hero and heroism should be restricted to those whose names are etched on the wall in Memorial Park.

    Recent interviews with a dozen firefighters reveal a common theme: Maybe it's time to hone the word hero to its core so its meaning isn't diluted, the special honor it signifies isn't diminished and popular culture doesn't render it meaningless through overuse.
    Lee Ielpi Jr. says he knows who a hero is -- and who isn't. His son is a hero. He isn't.
    Ielpi, a retired New York City firefighter with 26 years on the job, donned his old "turnout gear" after Sept. 11 to help search the World Trade Center debris.
    For nine months, he labored in that hellish pile. He heard people who flocked to the edges of the site call him a hero, even when he posed for their family snapshots.
    Ielpi said he's no hero. That honor goes to his son, Jonathan Ielpi, a FDNY firefighter who died trying to evacuate people from the towers.

    Three months after the collapse, Ielpi carried a stretcher holding his son's body from the wreckage.

    "I didn't want anyone to make me out to be a hero," Ielpi said recently. "All I did was go out here and find bodies. Everyone who died that day is a hero. My son and every responding firefighter saw what they were responding to. They were going in with one thought -- to save people."


    Kenny Haskell knows the burden of the term hero.

    His two brothers, Timmy and Tommy, FDNY firefighters, died when the towers collapsed. Kenny, also a firefighter, was off that day but rushed to the scene. He spent the next two months looking for his brothers' bodies, only one of which was recovered.

    The department later sent him and others around the country to talk about that day, in an attempt to repay Americans for their support. He went to Nashville, where tears and hugs and that word, hero, greeted him. It made him squirm.

    "I'm not a hero," he said. "I don't go to work to get a pat on the back. I don't feel like a hero. Most guys you talk to are uncomfortable with the term. We're just doing our jobs."

    "Just doing our job" is a common refrain among firefighters, whether they're in New York City or Colorado Springs.

    They say they're just working stiffs, proud of their jobs and accepting of the risks.

    "In light of 9-11, there's not a person on the job who isn't proud of doing what they're doing," said Capt. Randy Royal, medical officer for the Colorado Springs Fire Department. "It's a great job, and it's nice to have the respect of the community. But in most cases, when firefighters are called heroes, they're embarrassed or don't want to hear it. They're doing it because it's their job."

    Firefighters know the distinction between hero and "just doing our jobs" often is defined solely by whether they go home safe, and that thin line makes it hard to convince others they aren't something special.

    Kenny Haskell said when he started with the New York City Fire Department a veteran told him, "Don't be a hero. The cemeteries are full of heroes."

    The risks of the job, even in Colorado Springs, which hasn't lost a firefighter in 80 years, are many.

    Firefighters, for example, respond to every medical emergency. In Colorado Springs, those make up 73 percent of all calls.

    Every medical response exposes firefighters to the threat of HIV, hepatitis C, tuberculosis. Each fire poses the risk of exposure to asbestos, smoke and airborne toxins.

    The 120 or so calls to scenes of methamphetamine labs so far this year have subjected members of theColorado Springs Fire Department's hazardous materials team (HAZMAT) to the threat of explosions and a witches' brew of toxic, corrosive chemicals.

    Last year, 28 members of a special medical support team accompanied SWAT teams on 250 raids and arrests in El Paso County, ready to provide medical care if bullets started to fly.


    "We have had the luxury of having been thought of pretty well," Royal said. "I think what 9-11 did was emphasize the fact that what we do is deal with danger. Each time we go out the door, there isn't any guarantee we're coming back."

    Firefighters stress they don't confront these risks daily only to help fellow citizens.

    Capt. William Ragsdale, head of the Colorado Springs hazardous materials team, and Richard Haugen, a retired firefighter and director of the IAFF Fallen Firefighters Memorial, said they got into firefighting at the urging of fathers-in-law, basically to put food on the tables for their families. Once on the job, they found the work challenging, the excitement attractive and the camaraderie with colleagues special.


    But both said doing the job right requires a selflessness and a commitment to others -- and it's those characteristics that endow firefighters with the stuff of heroes.

    "If you don't develop a need to help others, you won't last long," Haugen said. "It just requires too many sacrifices."

    Kenny Haskell knows the public understands that, even if only intuitively, and he thinks it's one reason Americans embraced firefighters after the events of Sept. 11.

    Firefighters' commitment to helping others despite risks to themselves makes it hard, even for him, to draw a fine line around the word hero. Haskell struggled to explain how his brothers' actions Sept. 11 differed from the actions of thousands of others who jump onto firetrucks every day across North America.


    "I guess it's their loss (of life)," he said. "I'm sure it has something to do with courageous deeds. What those guys did was courageous. You could see it on their faces. Those guys were scared, and they still went in and did their thing."

    Copyright 2002, The Gazette, a Freedom Communications, Inc. Company. All rights reserved. Contact us.

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    Heroes IAFF Memorial 2002

    Everyday
    HEROES
    A place where sacrifices
    are never forgotten
    The 425 firefighters who died in the line of duty
    LINK bELOW
    http://www.gazette.com/memorial/firefighter8.html


    Remembering the fallen
    The Fallen Firefighters Memorial lists the names of all International Association of Fire Fighters members killed in the line of duty since 1976.

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    MEMORIAL NAMES LIST 2002 IAFF

    MEMORIAL NAMES LIST
    IAFF COLORADO SPRINGS
    CLICK ON LINK BELOW
    http://www.iaff-ffm.com/Tribute.htm

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    WE REMEMBER

    IAFF MEMORIAL COLORADO SPRINGS
    PHOTO BY JERILEE BENNETT - THE GAZETTE
    Colorado Springs Firefighters hang a giant
    American flag from a pedestrian bridge Friday
    over West Pikes Peak Avenue.
    Colorado Springs has rolled out a warm welcome
    for the families and friends of the 425 people
    whose names will be added to the memorial
    for fallen firefighters during a ceremony at
    1:30 p.m. today

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    Thousands Honor Fallen Firefighters 2002

    Thousands Honor Fallen Firefighters

    By ROBERT WELLER
    Associated Press Writer
    AP/Ed Andrieski [26K]
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------



    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP)

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    Fallen Remembered IAFF Memorial 2002

    During a ceremony that combined pain,
    grief and gratitude,the names of 499
    firefighters who died in the line of duty
    in the past two yearswere read. After
    hearing her husband's name, Diane Miller,
    center receives comfort from Saturday from
    Ken Parlee,a Somerville Mass, firefighter,
    and her sister-in-law, Janet Testa at the
    Fallen Firefighters Memorial at Memorial Park.
    Miller's husband, Henry Miller Jr. had been
    with the Fire Department of New York for 28
    years when he was killed Sept. 11,2001

    photo Jerilee Bennett -the Gazette

    http://gazette.com/


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    IAFF Memorial 2002

    Andrew Ielpi, 10, rest his head on the
    International Association of Fire Fighters
    flag he presented to his mother Saturday
    during the ceremony. Ielpi's father,Jonathon
    was killed Sept.11,2oo1 in New York City.

    Photo Jerilee Bennett -the Gazette

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    Springs pays tribute to firefighters

    Springs pays tribute to firefighters

    By Jeremy Meyer The Gazette

    Saturday's firefighter memorial observance in Memorial Park was the crescendo of a year's worth of emotion, said one New York fire marshal.

    With music, fly-overs and speeches, thousands of people honored hundreds of fallen firefighters.

    Many came grieving to this city in the middle heart of the country and left knowing the nation and this town mourns with them.

    "I can't say enough about the people of Colorado Springs," said Lee Ielpi Jr., a retired New York firefighter who lost his firefighting son, Jonathan Ielpi, in the collapse of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

    "It makes you feel so good that there are so many people across the country who really care."

    Over the past few days, family, friends and fellow firefighters have filled Colorado Springs hotels, jammed Tejon Street bars and reveled in the brotherly love of strangers.

    "I've never been to a place where I was treated so well," said firefighter John Walts from Manlius, N.Y.

    Events began Saturday morning when hundreds of fire trucks and motorcycles rode through the city in a procession to the park. Residents filled sidewalks along the route, waving flags and clapping as the firefighters passed.

    "It kind of gets you choked up," said Sallie Bennett, who stood with her husband Paul on the corner of Tejon Street and Pikes Peak Avenue. "The city should be proud."

    At 1:30 p.m., the observance began. About 8,000 seats blanketed the park's lawn. People also ringed the makeshift amphitheater, shaded from the sun by trees. Firefighters dressed in formal attire sat amid families in reserved spots.

    The event played on two jumbo television screens. Music was performed by bagpipe-and-drum squads, the U.S. Air Force Band of the Rockies, the Colorado Springs Choir and the Colorado Springs Children's Choir. Family members cradled folded flags in wooden boxes inscribed with the names of dead loved ones. They wept on shoulders, held hands and shuddered

    during the three-hour service.

    Speeches preceded the ominous reading of names. Including those from last year, 499 names were read -- the most ever in the ceremony's 16-year history.

    The greatest number of names were from the Sept. 11, 2001, tragedy in New York. For 19 minutes, a somber voice read every name of the 343 New York firefighters killed at the World Trade Center.

    "I can't even explain what it's like to hear those names," said Ielpi afterward. "Every time I hear someone new that I didn't know about."

    4,110 names already have been added to the granite memorial wall at the corner of Hancock and Pikes Peak avenues. That was where Irving DeShields of the FDNY stood and counted names of men he knew. "Looking at the names you recall a face of guys you've shared dinner with, played ball with, had holidays with," he said. "There's no faces there, but you can remember them."

    DeShields joined two dozen other firefighters in a 2,000-mile ride from New York to Colorado Springs. They slept in firehouses along the way, battled inclement weather and arrived Wednesday. The trip was cathartic, he said, but pain remains.

    "It's never going to end," he said. "It's never going to close. You'll always have the memories. You just got to hold on to the good ones

    Another New York group came to Saturday's ceremony wondering whether their men would be overshadowed by the Sept. 11 tragedy, which claimed about 70 percent of the firefighters commemorated Saturday.

    The 16-person department in Manlius, N.Y., near Syracuse, lost two firefighters in a March 7 house fire -- John E. Ginocchetti and Timothy J. Lynch.

    The families and firefighters from Manlius were relieved after the ceremony. "I don't think anyone was (overlooked)," said Gary Hass, president of the Manlius union. "Everyone was included. They did a wonderful job To 11-year-old Jayne Jahnke, the ceremony gave her another chance to honor her father.

    Capt. Jay Jahnke was a Houston firefighter who died in an Oct. 13, 2001, high-rise blaze. Jayne and her family came to the ceremony with other Houston firefighters to honor her dad. His name is on a wall separate from the Sept. 11 firefighters.

    That was where Jayne knelt before leaving the park after the ceremony's conclusion. rubbed an impression of her father's name onto a piece of paper. She posed for a photograph, pointing at his name carved in the granite.

    Then she left a note, placing it with the candles, photographs and flowers.

    "I miss you," it said, "and wish you were here."

    Jeremy Meyer covers general assignments and may be reached at 476-1623 or jmeyer@gazette.com
    Fire Trucks Came to Honor ths Fallen from across the country
    photo the Gazette

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    In Their debt.

    Ceremony honors selflessness of fallen heroes

    By Anslee Willett The Gazette

    Moments after Jim Walker was handed a flag Saturday in honor of his father who died battling a fire, his 5-year-old daughter went over to touch her lips to his.

    Walker gripped the firefighters' union flag and leaned back in his chair.

    His dad, Dale J. Walker, was one of 499 men and women recognized at the 16th annual Fallen Firefighter Memorial Ceremony.

    The majority of the firefighters - 343 - died in the Sept. 11 attacks at the World Trade Center.

    The ceremony also honored the 74 men and women added to the memorial wall

    during last year's ceremony, just four days after the Sept. 11 attacks, when only 13 families were able to attend because of travel restrictions.

    An estimated 10,000 people gathered Saturday at Memorial Park for the International Association of Fire Fighters' largest ceremony in its 84-year history.

    "Each year we mark the passing of far too many" firefighters, said U.S.

    Rep. Joel Hefley who pushed legislation to get the memorial site in Colorado Springs in 1986.

    "I wish some year we could come here and celebrate because a year had passed without us losing a single one. But that's probably too much to hope for."

    Because Walker's father died in 1981, before the memorial was established, his name was supposed to have been added to the site when it was founded. Two granite walls list the IAFF firefighters killed in the line of duty since 1976.

    For some reason, his father's name was never added to the memorial and the

    mistake just was discovered this past year.

    "It's better late than never," Walker said after the ceremony. "I can appreciate it now."

    Walker, who grew up to join the Kansas City, Mo., Fire Department just like his dad, also lost a co-worker in a fire. During a 1999 blaze, Walker searched for his battalion chief, who died in the fire.

    Walker, who was 5 when his father died after being crushed by a collapsing wall, said fighting fires is all he wants to do.

    "I'd rather die helping people than die in a car wreck, you know?"

    That's the kind of selflessness that was honored at the ceremony.

    "Your fallen heroes, who never wanted to be called heroes, exemplified

    what true heroism is all about," said keynote speaker and IAFF president

    Harold Schaitberger He told the audience to remember and reflect on the lives of their loved ones, not their loss.

    "We must remember that they could be a serious bunch, but never

    took themselves too seriously," Schaitberger said. "How easily they would

    laugh with one another in what we call firehouse humor, yet never

    forgetting how to weep when compassion was required."

    Colorado Springs councilwoman Sallie Clark told the families the community will be here for them year after year.

    "We're eager to hear your names and learn your stories. But in a sense we already know you," she said. "You're the flesh and blood

    reminders of the life and love your firefighters gave us in one moment to

    protect our communities, our country.

    'And we're honored to be in your presence. And we're forever in your

    debt."

    Flyovers by the United States Air Force marked the beginning and the end

    of the ceremony. One of the planes was a C-130 that has been used to

    battle wildland fires.

    "We know the dangers associated with firefighting," said Col. Richard Moss

    of the 302nd Airlift Wing. "Seven of our comrades or fellow aviators from

    the civilian community have died this year fighting (wildland) fires.

    "However, we're fortunate. We fly over the inferno. You go directly into

    it."

    As Hefley told the firefighters, "You're there to do what needs to be done

    to protect us. And I don't know why you do it, but thank God that you do."


    Anslee Willett covers public safety and may be reached at 636-0366 or willett@gazette.com

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    We Remember IAFF Memorial 2002

    New York firefighter Irving DeShields takes
    a photo of names on the wall at the memorial
    Saturday. DeShields was among two dozen
    New York firefighters who travelled by road
    to Colorado Springs for the ceremony.
    "Looking" at the names you recall a face of
    guys you've shared dinner with,played ball with
    had holidays with, DeShield said.
    Bryon Oller The Gazette

    http://gazette.com/

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