Friday, September 11, 2009

Firefighters memorial

As mentioned in the post Firefighters Memorial Sneak Peek, there was a ceremony on the 11th to commemorate fallen soldiers in the Ottawa Fire Service, following a parade from the Museum of Nature. This year was special because the first phase of the local firefighters' memorial was unveiled (as opposed to the national firefighters memorial, to be built near the new condo on Lebreton Flats)

As I arrived, the parade was just finishing up, with historical fire vehicles and equipment coming up off Laurier Avenue onto Marion Dewar Plaza, many being pulled by volunteers:

These vehicles assembled in front of City Hall.

The ceremony was being held across the grass at the site of the new memorial. Behind the memorial, a gargantuan Canadian flag was suspended from ladders 13 and 24. Many firefighters in dress uniform were arranged to watch the ceremony:

There were many civilians, including passersby and family and friends of lost firefighters.

Most of those, I suspect, were in the seating area in front of the three long rows of firefighters.

Politicians and other officials were kept contained in a stage area. The woman on the grass with the salmon coloured shirt is Louise Carota, who designed the monument.

While those officials were on a stage, the attention was focused on the monument, from which most of the speeches were delivered. Here the contributors and contractors are being recognized. Signs were posted on the monument recognizing the contributors; unfortunately, these have since been removed.

On the other end of the memorial the band played. You can also see many fire trucks parked on Laurier bridge.

Pumper P11B was covered in black ribbons and the lights were covered in black cloth. Members of station No. 11 presented the plaque with the names of firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty.

This, of course, is just a slice of the memorial. I was pleased that the ceremonies tended to focus on the loss of local firefighters, and on the work involved to get the memorial built. It was very formal and ceremonial.

You couldn't see them from in front of the memorial, but these eight firefighters were standing at attention beneath the massive flag. While some of my friends have said they thought the flag was a bit much, I'm impressed merely from a technical standpoint: not only is it big, but it was windy. It was tough getting photos of the flag hanging straight down.

For links to relevant sources, including the fund for the next phase of the memorial, please see the previous post on the firefighters memorial.

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