The annual memorial event began at 11 a.m. at the Mewata Armoury where the Calgary Fire Department Honour Guard, Pipes and Drums and firefighters marched down Stephen Ave. to the Police Officers and Firefighters Tribute Plaza, located in front of the Calgary Municipal Building. The ceremony followed at noon and included a moment of silence, laying of wreaths and ringing of the bell in honour of each fallen firefighter.
The base of the outdoor memorial, which includes a three-story monument called Walls of Memory/Lantern of Light, is inscribed with the names and photos of the nine Calgary firefighters who lost their lives on active duty. Firefighters who have died from work-related illnesses have their names inscribed on plaques, which were included in today’s ceremony. During the year, the plaques are displayed at fire department headquarters.
Sadly, the Calgary Fire Department Honour Guard displayed yet another plaque this year for Francois J. Rivest, who died in 2015 from occupational cancer.
In recognition of the memorial service, fire stations across the city have lowered their flags to half-mast from sunrise to sunset. The flags will also be lowered on Sept. 11 and 17, in honour of both the Canadian Firefighters Annual Memorial Ceremony in Ottawa, Ontario, and the International Association of Fire Fighters Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
For more information on the Calgary Fire Department and our fallen firefighters, visit calgary.ca/fire.