Community

Ceremony honours ‘ultimate sacrifices’ of fallen firefighters

In a somber ceremony, two new names were unveiled on the Markham Firefighter Memorial in honour and remembrance of Platoon Chief Ken Robertson and Firefighter First Class Xavier Bracken.

Both tragically passed away due to injuries sustained while on duty. “It is important to honour and remember the ultimate sacrifices made by the members of Markham’s Fire and Emergency Services (MFES),” Mayor Frank Scarpitti says of the private ceremony, held Sunday, Oct. 22.

“The Markham Firefighter Memorial was unveiled in 2021 and offers a place of reflection and an opportunity to pay tribute to fallen members of our fire service. On behalf of the City of Markham and our residents, I thank all members of our fire service, past and present, for answering the call of duty to protect our community and keep us safe,” says Scarpitti.

“The City of Markham and its Fire and Emergency Services stand together with the family and the friends of Ken Robertson and Xavier Bracken, honouring the lives, service and sacrifice of two brave firefighters who dedicated their lives to helping others and making a difference in the world,” says MFES Fire Chief Chris Nearing.

The Markham Firefighter Memorial is located at Markham Veterans Square and Cenotaph at 6031 Hwy. 7 E. It was created with the hope of offering some solace and support to the families and friends of firefighters who’ve fallen in the line of duty while actively responding to a fire or as the result of occupational illness or disease.  The memorial provides a place for firefighters to remember their fallen colleagues and serves as a gathering place for the community to reflect on the risks taken by firefighters on their behalf.

Five bronze firefighters’ helmets representing five fallen firefighters were unveiled at the 2021 opening of the memorial, which is the result of a partnership between the Markham Professional Firefighters Association, which donated the monument and artwork, MFES, and the City of Markham, which provided the land and installed the monument.

Two new names were unveiled on the Markham Firefighter Memorial in a private ceremony on October 22. Photo courtesy of the City of Markham.

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