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Thread: New York Honors Fallen Firefighters

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    New York Honors Fallen Firefighters

    New York Honors Fallen Firefighters

    By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS


    Filed at 2:50 p.m. ET


    NEW YORK (AP) -- Thousands of firefighters from around the world packed Madison Square Garden and the surrounding streets Saturday for a solemn memorial ceremony to honor 356 city firefighters killed in the line of duty -- 343 of them at the World Trade Center.

    City officials and fire union leaders talked about sacrifice and moving past tragedy, then presented the Medal of Supreme Sacrifice to the firefighters' families.

    "They went beyond professionalism, and carried with them the strength and courage that remind the nation of the gallant heroes of our past,'' Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.
    "Even though they are no longer among us they continue to lead.''

    Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani reminded the audience that despite the great sadness surrounding the day, those who were lost would not want their families and friends to dwell on their grieving.

    "They died to protect people, they died to protect life ... and I think they would want you, the people that they loved, to more forward, to be brave,'' he said. "Our mourning will live until we die, their heroism will live forever.''

    After a roll call of the names, the crowed erupted in a standing ovation.

    The memorial began with thousands of firefighters, led by color guards, bagpipers and drummers from the Fire Department of New York, marching in heavy rain up Eighth Avenue.

    Amid the procession, 356 firefighters, some from as far away as Japan and Australia, each carried an American flag representing an FDNY member lost in the line of duty since October 2000.

    The deaths over the past two years include the trade center victims and nine paramedics and firefighters killed in other incidents, three retirees working as trade center fire safety directors and a member of the insurance industry-funded New York Fire Patrol. The patrol works out of firehouses to salvage property at fires.

    The department's annual ceremony for firefighters lost in the line of duty, held at the Firemen's Memorial, an outdoor monument on Riverside Drive, was delayed after the trade center attack.

    It was moved to Madison Square Garden, and 25,000 tickets were distributed to firefighters and families. To accommodate the crowd, video screens were also set up outside so people could watch from the street.

    The service came amid tensions over pay increases for the city's firefighters. On Friday, thousands of firefighters gathered in the pouring rain in Central Park to demand a fair contract that provides higher wages.

    The 9,000-member Uniformed Firefighters Association this week rejected a city pay raise offer of 11.5 percent over 30 months.



    http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/nati...-Memorial.html

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    Thousands attend memorial to honor fallen firefighters

    Thousands attend memorial to honor fallen firefighters


    By MICHAEL WEISSENSTEIN
    Associated Press Writer

    October 12, 2002, 11:32 AM EDT


    NEW YORK -- Thousands of firefighters from around the world packed Madison Square Garden and its surrounding streets on a rainy Saturday for a solemn memorial ceremony to honor the city's fallen firefighters.

    City officials and fire union leaders offered speeches that focused on themes of mourning and sacrifice, mingled with the desire to move past tragedy.

    "They went beyond professionalism, and carried with them the strength and courage that remind the nation of the gallant heroes of our past," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. "Even though they are no longer among us they continue to lead."

    Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani later reminded the audience that despite the great sadness surrounding the day, those who were lost would not want their families and friends to dwell on their grieving.

    "They died to protect people, they died to protect life ... and I think they would want you, the people that they loved, to more forward, to be brave," he said. "Our mourning will live until we die, their heroism will live forever."

    The speeches were interspersed with musical interludes before the department's Medal of Supreme Sacrifice was to be presented to survivors of fallen members. The ceremony also included a roll call of those who perished.

    The memorial service began with thousands of firefighters, led by color guards, bagpipers and drummers from the Fire Department of New York marching in heavy rain up Eighth Avenue from 14th Street to Madison Square Garden.

    The procession included 356 firefighters, including some from as far away as France, Japan and Australia, each bearing an American flag representing an FDNY member lost in the line of duty since October 2000.

    The tally included the 343 killed in the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center as well as nine paramedics and firefighters killed in other incidents, three retirees working as trade center fire safety directors and a member of the insurance industry-funded New York Fire Patrol. The patrol works out of firehouses to salvage property at fires.

    Once the procession arrived at Madison Square Garden, the ceremony began with a videotape of Firefighter Vernon Cherry, an amateur singer who died on Sept. 11, singing the national anthem on the steps of City Hall.

    The department's annual ceremony for firefighters lost in the line of duty, traditionally held at the Firemen's Memorial, an outdoor monument at Riverside Drive and 100th Street, was delayed after the trade center attack.

    It was moved to Madison Square Garden, where 25,000 tickets have been distributed to firefighters and families, to accommodate crowds expected to be in the many tens of thousands.

    Video screens were set up outside the arena, where thousands more watched from the street.

    The service comes amid tensions over pay increases for the city's firefighters. On Friday, thousands of firefighters gathered in the pouring rain in Central Park to demand a fair contract that provides higher wages.

    The 9,000 members of the Uniformed Firefighters Association this week rejected a city pay raise offer of 11.5 percent over 30 months.

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    Last Respects for a Litany of Firefighters

    Last Respects for a Litany of Firefighters
    By ROBERT D. McFADDEN


    Legions of white-gloved firefighters, a solemn brotherhood from across the nation and around the world, gathered under weeping gray skies in New York City yesterday for an outpouring of remembrance and farewell for 356 comrades killed in the World Trade Center attack and in other recent tragedies.

    Over the past 13 months, there had been many funerals, memorial services and other ceremonies for the 343 firefighters lost on Sept. 11 and for 13 others who had died in the line of duty since Oct. 1, 2000. But yesterday's was by far the largest, a vast assembly of the families, friends and colleagues of the honored dead that filled Madison Square Garden and the surrounding streets of Midtown with overflowing crowds and seas of grief.

    On a penumbral day of almost dreamlike images, the mourners converged on the Garden in a dark tide, widows and fatherless children stepping from limousines, multitudes of uniformed firefighters

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