Worcester's Fire Chief Gerard Dio's Remembrance Speech

I want to welcome you all to the unveiling of the remembrance that truly represents our lives in the fire service. For the past nine years I have been listening to firefighters opinions of what a remembrance should look like. I took all those considerations into mind when I started this journey about a year ago.

I say journey because everything we do in our lives are journeys.

One place to the next, in constant movement. We move from one station to the next, one relationship to the next, one job to the next. We do that to keep alive and when our journey comes to an end we rest and reflex before we move on again.

Collecting our thoughts, evaluating our feelings, trying to get in touch with what we really want, mean, and feel. So as it is today. The journey with this remembrance ends today. We stop, we look, we view, and we take in what it means to us.

If it means anything. If we feel anything? It is all up to you as individuals, how you perceive this sculpture. It is a reflection of what the men who died on this site did. There were two men from the rescue truck, Paul Brotherton and Gerry Lucey. There were two ladder men, Thomas Spencer and Tim Jackson. And there were two Engine men, Jay Lyons, and Joe McGuirk.

That was what they did for the department and that is how they will be remembered. All individuals, unique in the character, brave in presence, strong hearted in their beliefs. These were firefighters nothing more nothing less. They fought fires and died doing what they loved to do.

So this remembrance I hope will remind you of that. We (the knelling firefighter) are watching them going off to do the job they loved to do. That is all we can do. We can not change what happened we can only accept it, learn from it, and move on to our next journey in life whatever that may be.

We who fight fires will hold the memories of our friends and comrades forever in our hearts as we move on to our next journey in life, whatever that may be, another shift, another truck, another dream, another job, another life. We do not know what God has in store for us but whatever it is we need to embrace it as our friends embraced the work that they loved to do.

We need to remember to get up when we get knocked down like we did on December 3, and move on, with a smile on our faces and hope in our hearts. Sooner or later we will be joining our friends and comrades and the sadness of the past will be gone.

All of you who are with us tonight and have been supportive of this department since that fateful night we want to say thank you. You helped us stand tall when the wind had been knocked out of us and we will never forget that. When you drive by and see these statues remember how they lived, loving the job that put a smile on their face, a spring in their step and peace in their hearts!