Fallen firefighters honored at 84th Nassau County United Memorial Service
A special farewell to fallen firefighters was held in Port Washington Sunday.
The blare of bag pipes filled the air outside the Archangel Michael Greek Orthodox Church as members of 71 fire departments in Nassau County were present for the 84th Nassau County United Memorial Service.
The Port Washington Fire Department hosted the event.
This year's nondenominational ceremony honored 107 volunteer firefighters, 14 ladies auxiliary members who died in 2022 along with three firefighters who died in the line of duty.
"We are remembering those who have gone before us. There's not a tighter brotherhood and sisterhood in the entire world than the fire service," said former Port Washington Fire Department Chief Christopher Bollerman.
"Anytime a person can be memorialized and remembered, [it] really speaks to the heart and mind and soul of the families that somebody remembers and hasn't forgotten their loved one," said Port Washington Fire Department Chaplain Pastor Charles Vogeley.
Families and politicians also attended the traditional ceremony that included music, passages and reading of names.
"We have so much respect and adulation for everyone that volunteers," said Nassau County Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton.
"They are leaving their dinners, Sunday dinners, and they are going into burning homes to rescue people. Whatever we can do for them, is really... we need to do it," said Town of North Hempstead Council Member Mariann Dalimonte.
Those who attended said this tradition is important to continue because of the sense of peace it provides them.
"Just to let them know they are not alone, and members of the entire Nassau County fire service will be there for them forever," Bollerman said.