BONNERS FERRY — “On the behalf of the firefighters standing here today — and to those who have lost their lives — I want to thank you for coming here today and never letting them be forgotten,” said Boundary County Chaplain Corps Chaplain Dave Lotze to the people who gathered at the Bonners Ferry Fire Department on Sunday, Oct. 6, for the 2019 National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend Observance.
The Boundary County Fire Chiefs Association Honor Guard presented the colors and Rebecca Huseby sang “The Star-Spangled Banner.” North Bench Firefighter Cheryl Jackson served as the emcee for the ceremony.
A line of first responders from different agencies took turns reading from a list of 119 names of fallen firefighters from the 2019 Line of Duty Death (LODD) memorial list, as the people in attendance listened quietly.
The event took place inside the Fire Department, with the garage doors open, and fire trucks served as a backdrop. People sat in the provided chairs, while the first responders stood behind.
There was a pause in the ceremony as first one train passed by, followed immediately by another. The presenters and attendees used the opportunity to take a moment of silence.
During the ceremony, the solemn 5-5-5 Bell Toll, which represents the Morse code that used to go out to the whole department when a firefighter lost their life, echoed in the building.
The ceremony finished with the retiring of the colors, and Bonners Ferry Firefighter Pat Warkentin played “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes.