HANSON — The town’s firefighters, their family members, town officials and residents gathered for the annual Firefighters Memorial Sunday on June 14, to honor fallen firefighters and former department members who have passed.
“While it is right and fitting that we meet here every year to remember our past heroes — firefighters James Craig, Thomas Lovett and David Grindall — we must also remember that their families have sacrificed, and to let them know that we appreciate the sacrifice that their loved ones made and recognize the toll it takes on them every day,” said Chief Jerome Thompson Jr.,
He also noted that, across the nation so far this year, 42 firefighters have been killed in the line of duty.
“Let us remember the sacrifices that have been made by our brothers and sisters, and honor them by improving our culture and our perspective on firefighter safety and training,” he said.
Members of the Hanson Fire Department marched from the station onto the front lawn to the bagpipe skirl of “Scotland, the Brave,” played by Don Teague.
W-H student Ainsley Stewart sang the national anthem and the Rev. Kwang Lee, associate pastor of St. Joseph the Worker Church, offered a prayer.
“As we join in prayer for those who serve our Hanson community as firefighters, we are mindful of those who have gone before us,” Lee said.
State Rep. Josh Cutler, D-Duxbury, presented Thompson and the Hanson Fire Department with a citation from the General Court honoring the occasion and shook hands with each firefighter.
“Today is a day for reflection,” said Cutler, who represents Hanson. “Our message this morning is a simple one — thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you for your service, thank you for your sacrifice and thank you to your families for sharing you with us.”
Selectmen Chairman Bruce Young spoke for the board, while members Kenny Mitchell and Jim McGahan also attended the ceremony.
“The Hanson Fire Department has a long and honorable history in this town, and has grown from an all-volunteer fire department to the current, first-class, 21st century department for fire and ambulance services of full-time firefighters and EMTs deeply committed to serving the citizens of Hanson,” Young said in thanking the department on behalf of residents. “When we now think of the passing of our firefighters, and think of the names of each, we will also remember their humanity, their courage, their loving dedication to family, to community and to the lives of the citizens they serve.”
Lt. Keith Wilson read the poem, “A Firefighter’s Prayer,” after which firefighter Christopher Harris lowered the flag to half-staff and Lt. Rob O’Brien read the names of Craig, Lovett and Grindall as firefighter Kevin Mossman rang a fire bell for each name. W-H alum Matthew Paru played taps and Teague played “Amazing Grace” before Harris raised the flag again.
Thompson then presented Lt. Gary Smith with his 35-year service pin.