A new memorial celebrates the “bravery and selflessness” of firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty and honours the memory of each.
“As firefighters, each of us knows the risks of the job and accept them,” Markham Professional Firefighters Association President (MPFFA) Brad Lamport said at the unveiling. “Even though acceptance does not make the loss of our colleagues, our friends and our family members any easier to bear, I am proud that we will bear them together.”
Located at Markham Veterans Square and Cenotaph at 6031 Hwy. 7 E., the memorial was created to offer some solace and support to the families of firefighters who’ve fallen in the line of duty while actively responding to a fire or because of occupational illness or disease.
“Firefighters form a close-knit family and it’s always hard when we lose one of our own in the line of duty,” said MFES Fire Chief Adam Grant. “The Markham Firefighter Memorial gives our firefighting family and residents a shared space to gather, to remember and to honour Markham’s fallen first responders.
“I want to thank the Markham Professional Firefighters Association, the City of Markham and my fellow firefighters for establishing this memorial. Most of all, I want to thank the families for sharing their loved ones with us. We will always hold them close and they will never be forgotten.”
MPFFA donated the monument and artwork, and the City of Markham provided the land and installed the monument. “The Markham Firefighter Memorial offers a place of reflection and an opportunity to pay tribute to fallen members of our fire service,” Mayor Frank Scarpitti said at the ceremony. “We salute all members of our fire service, past and present, and thank them for answering the call of duty to protect our community and keep us safe.”
The unveiling ceremony began with an honour guard marching in the flags and a rendition of O Canada. Retired Markham Fire and Emergency Services Fire Chief Dave Decker performed a ceremonial bell ringing using the service’s antique restored fire truck, The Rugby. Photos courtesy of the City of Markham.