By Cindy Zomar, Contributing Writer
Marlborough – The mood was somber as the Honor Guard stood waiting for the ceremony to start at the Marlborough Maple Street Fire Station. Battalion Chief Ken MacEwen explained, “Each year since 2002, the state Fire Marshal has authorized September 11th Remembrance Ceremonies at fire stations across the commonwealth. Today we honor and remember the 343 firefighters that paid the ultimate price as they responded to the horrors of 9/11.”
Fire Chief Kevin Breen began the ceremony with a detailed account of the timing of the terrorist acts that occurred that day in Manhattan, Arlington, Va. and Shanksville, Penn. In all, nearly 3,000 innocent lives were lost that morning as a result of the attacks, including the brave men and women of New York’s Fire and Police departments and EMS personnel who rushed into harm’s way. Many more have died since 2001 as direct results of exposure to harmful chemicals from that day and during the recovery and rebuilding period.
Breen continued, “In the New York City Fire Department, the signal 5-5-5-5 is transmitted on the bell circuit indicating a firefighter has died in the line of duty. We will now transmit the signal 5-5-5-5.”
Following four sets of five chimes each, Father Michael MacKinnon, the Fire Department Chaplain, read a brief prayer asking for consolation for families, friends, co-workers and all who mourn the loss of these brave men and women.
In conclusion, Breen then read the Firefighter’s Prayer, before a second transmission of the 5-5-5-5 bell call.
Mayor Arthur Vigeant, State Rep. Danielle Gregoire (D-Marlborough) and City Councilor Katie Robey were also in attendance at the ceremony to pay their respects to the fallen.