PDT Staff Writer
A standing-room-only crowd was in attendance for a special memorial service Monday afternoon at the Central Fire Station of the Portsmouth Fire Department.
“Memorial Day is a time of remembrance, where we remember the sacrifices that so many have made before us,” Portsmouth Fire Chief Bill Raison said. “We spent this morning at Soldier’s Circle remembering the sacrifices of our service men and women. And then, this afternoon we take the time to remember the sacrifices of our firefighters who have not just given their lives in the line of duty, and we have those who have done that, and that’s a great sacrifice, and we truly honor that, but so many more that, for years, sacrificed in their daily duty, and retired, and have since gone on. We remember those people as well today.”
Raison said there are two monuments in front of the station — one, a podium devoted to those who died in the line of duty, and a bell, with a plaque that contains the names of those who have died after their service to the department and the city.
“That’s only part of the names that we could have,” Raison said. “We don’t have enough room for them on the monument. We really need to expand our monument, but we don’t have the funds to do that right now.”
The ceremony began with the posting of the colors by the Portsmouth Fire Department Honor Guard. Lt. Mark Ferreira of the Salvation Army led those in attendance in prayer. Dr. Robert Nelson spoke briefly of the importance of the day, then the bell was sounded, one ring for each who has died and was being honored on the special day.
“They call it ‘the last alarm. We are honoring Tom Tipton today,” Raison said. “He served from 1952 until 1980, and then retired. He passed away last year. So we are remembering him today, and remembering those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.”
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.