MANHATTAN—The 18 city firefighters who died in the past year were remembered at the 115th annual FDNY Memorial Day commemoration on the Upper West Side on Wednesday.
The ceremony organized by the Fire Department and the Uniformed Firefighters Association included the presentation of plaques and flags to the families of the four firefighters who lost their lives while on duty.
“The firefighters, the police officers, the EMTs, we’re never off duty,” Mayor Eric Adams, a former city police captain, told firefighters, relatives and city officials at the Firemen’s Memorial in Riverside Park. “We never stop responding. Right now, they’re still on duty, watching over the people of the City of New York.”
Thousands of active and former firefighters participated in the event, which featured somber music preformed by the FDNY Emerald Society Pipes and Drums.
“It’s very important, not just for the families but for us, as well,” said retired firefighter Jim McCue, an Emerald Society member who said he has never missed a Memorial Day.
“You have to remember, they live in the firehouse,” said John Dixon, an uncle of the late Lt. William Howard Irvine III, who was among those honored. “They do tours where they spend overnight, they cook dinner together. If it’s a holiday—if it’s Thanksgiving or something — they cook a turkey and everybody tries to sit down and eat. With them, it’s a family.”