Gone, but never forgotten.
In light of Memorial Day Monday, May 31, the Sound Beach Fire Department held their annual service to remember and mourn the losses of all the men and women who died in the name of freedom.
Chief Darran Handshaw said the department also uses the day to remember their brothers and sisters who are no longer here.
“Over the years, many organizations use this day, as we do, to remember and honor their own deceased members,” he said, addressing the crowd. “So today, the members of the Sound Beach Fire Department and our families, in our own way, observe Memorial Day.”
Handshaw added that this is the department’s 91st year. They wanted to remember and pay homage the members who helped build the foundation of the department that has been around for almost a century.
During the hour-long event, a dozen people sat inside the firehouse, as they listened to members read the names of nearly 50 people who impacted the department in one way or another.
Eight-year-old Rocky Point Cub Scout Mason Ulscheimer kicked off the event with the Pledge of Allegiance.
Family members of the deceased people came up to the podium to say the names of their loved ones, and tears were shed as the department’s honor roll was recited.
“We all should reflect on the freedoms we enjoy as Americans, and on those who die for those freedoms,” said Second Assistant Chief Alex Riley. “To any families of our fallen heroes who are here today, we say, ‘Thank you.’ We owe them and their loved ones our heartfelt gratitude and so much more.”
The event ended with Handshaw, Riley and First Assistant Chief Bill Rosasco placing a wreath at the department’s 9/11 memorial.