On a day full of honoring heroes, one group that can’t be forgotten are the firefighters. At the Central Fire Station in Portsmouth on Memorial Day, they were not overlooked. A firefighter’s memorial was held in their honor.
“When the call of duty came, they responded,” Derek Allen, city manager and special speaker for the memorial said. “They stopped what they were doing and served the country.”
Allen says that he is proud of Portsmouth honoring those who deserve it.
“Not every city or community has a strong tradition of Memorial Day services like Portsmouth,” Allen said. “It’s amazing. It’s from one to the next, to here. It’s outstanding that these people took time out of their holiday to come out and honor our fire department.”
Chief at the Portsmouth Fire Department, Bill Raison says that the memorial means a lot to the firefighters.
“They do make a lot of sacrifices, not just out on the job, they make sacrifices at home,” Raison said. “Things happen and you have to leave your home and family quickly sometimes. When they are here they’re here for 24 hours at a time so they are away from their families. So to see people take the time to come down and remember that sacrifice and honor them, I think it means a lot.”
Jim Elliott is a veteran of the Portsmouth Fire department. He served at the department for 46 years. He and his wife, Beulah Elliott, return every year for the firefighter’s memorial.
“All of the guys are great, and he loved his job,” Beulah Elliott said. “The day he retired, he loved it as much as the day he started.”
City manager, Allen, believes that good things are coming for the Portsmouth Fire department.
“I see a bright future for Portsmouth and I see a bright future for our fire department,” Allen said. “We are starting to prepare to run EMS and expand our services to the community, and I think that’s positive.”