FDNY Holds Memorial Day

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FDNY Holds Memorial Day

FDNY Holds Memorial Day

The FDNY Foundation joins the FDNY as the Department marks one of the most solemn days on the FDNY Calendar, Memorial Day.

“For 108 years, this memorial has stood as a solemn testament to bravery, to sacrifice, to those who did what most people could never imagine doing – to those who looked at the dangers, and somehow overcame them,” said Mayor de Blasio. “Today, we honor seven men lost in the past year – six firefighters and one member of EMS. Our hearts are with their family, with their friends, with all their loved ones, who are feeling so much today. And we honor, at the same time, all the other members of the FDNY who gave their lives in the 150 years that this extraordinary organization has protected New York City.”

The ceremony was held Wed., Oct. 7 at Firefighter’s Monument in Riverside Park.

“There is no day on our calendar like Memorial Day, when we remember all of those who made the supreme sacrifice or have been lost due to illness and tragic accidents,” said Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro. “We remember the great times we shared with them and we pay tribute to their outstanding careers.”

“Our mission is clear – protect life and property. It’s very easy to say, but far more difficult to do,” said FDNY Chief of Department James Leonard. “Every single member of this Department here in this beautiful show of support has taken an oath to accomplish that mission, no matter the cost.”

The event this year honored Lieutenant Michael J. Vecsi, Ladder 122, EMT Brian J. Saks, Station 50, Firefighter William D. Koesterer, Engine 88, Firefighter Henri J. Gaudin, Ladder 31, Firefighter Raymond B. Murphy, Engine 69, Firefighter Timothy P. Melia, Engine 332 and Firefighter Thomas R. O’Donnell, Engine 303.

“We all strive every day – both on duty and off – to fulfill that oath, and to live up to the long line of heroes that has preceded us,” said Leonard. “To wear the FDNY uniform is a hard-earned honor. To stand shoulder to shoulder this morning and pay respect to those we have lost who wore this uniform is not only an honor; it is a responsibility we share, and one which we do not take lightly.”

This was the 108th annual ceremony.

To see more photos from the ceremony, click here.

"We all strive every day – both on duty and off – to fulfill that oath, and to live up to the long line of heroes that has preceded us. To wear the FDNY uniform is a hard-earned honor. To stand shoulder to shoulder this morning and pay respect to those we have lost who wore this uniform is not only an honor; it is a responsibility we share, and one which we do not take lightly."

James Leonard, Chief of Department, FDNY