Hull firefighters and their families gathered at the Village Cemetery on June 13 for the annual Firefighters Memorial Sunday. The event is designated as a day to honor active and retired firefighters who passed away during the last year.
“It’s a solemn day, and it’s a special day, so that we do not forget those who made the ultimate sacrifice for this community,” said Fire Chief Christopher Russo.
The ceremony was attended by about 30 people, who watched as the firefighters marched to the memorial, led by bagpiper Bob Cameron. He played the song “Captain Joshua James,” which he wrote specially for the department.
Before the reading of the Role of Honor, Russo took a moment to “thank the active members of this department for their actions in the call to duty during the pandemic.”
Russo noted that “over the last year-plus, I’ve asked the members of this department to take on many, many extra duties.
“Members have responded and cared for COVID patients in the community, provided testing, supported vaccination clinics, and even some became ill. … During all of this, they responded to our usual volume of calls, didn’t waver; our call did not subside; and during this entire solution OR??? situation, they kept everyone in this community safe.”
Normally several firefighters are given awards during the ceremony, but Russo said “each and every member of this department deserves to be recognized, thanked for their actions while on duty, while off duty.”
After the reading of the Role of Honor, the firefighters took part in “the ringing of the bell,” a ritual that Russo said signifies “that the fires are out, our brothers and sisters have come home to their final place of rest.”
“We are forever grateful for their service in this department,” said Russo, “and the sacrifices made by their families.”
In addition to voicing pride in the members of his department, Russo acknowledged the community, saying that “without all of you and the job that these gentlemen do, we’d be in a different place.
“I’m proud of this department; I’m proud of every member.”