Feature Story                                                                    Monday, September 11, 2017



"We Were There"

Second Sunday in September dedicated to fallen firefighters 

By Staff/Voice photos

Casket bearers stand in honour of Chilliwack firefighter Brian Smyth who died while on duty in March 2015. Below, a helmet at a fire in the past.



he Canadian flag was flown at half-mast from end of the day Friday, September 8, 2017 to sunrise Monday, September 11, 2017 to mark Firefighters’ National Memorial Day on Sunday, September 10, 2017.


This day is in remembrance to the 1300 firefighters who died in the line of duty since 1848 including the Halifax harbour disaster of 1917 when 9 responders perished.


The National Capital Commission (NCC) and the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation (CFFF) announced in September 2010 the winning concept for the construction of the Canadian Firefighters Memorial which will be erected on LeBreton Flats.


The team, comprised of artist Douglas Coupland from Vancouver and Mary Tremain, partner at PLANT Architect Inc. from Toronto, won the Canada-wide competition with their concept “We Were There”.






















Firefighters on Fourth Ave in 2014.


The new memorial, intended as a national commemoration recognizing firefighters and firefighting from all parts of the country, is to be located on a prominent site owned by the National Capital Commission at LeBreton Flats near the Canadian War Museum. This highly visible site, on Wellington Street at the corner of Lett Street, was prepared in 2009 by the NCC in anticipation of this monument.


On Sunday Prime Minister Trudeau said that “We solemnly honour Canada’s more than 1,300 firefighters who have died in the line of duty since the first recorded fatality in 1848, including the 13 who have died this year. We mourn them with their loved ones, friends and colleagues."


“There can be no greater gesture than to put oneself in harm’s way to save the life of another. We must never forget the enormous risks our firefighters face to keep us safe, or the sacrifices they and their families are called upon to make," added Trudeau. “In particular, I want to offer our sincere gratitude for the efforts of the firefighters who having been fighting the 2017 wildfires in British Columbia, and of those who tackled the 2016 blaze in Fort McMurray, Alberta."














Brian Smyth's comrades form his funeral procession.

“In honour of Canada's fallen firefighters and on behalf of their families, we are truly grateful for the proclamation to name the second Sunday of every September, the date of our annual ceremony, as ‘Firefighters National Memorial Day.’ We sincerely appreciate the efforts of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister Ralph Goodale who have demonstrated our government's appreciation of the sacrifice and commitment of firefighters in this country, and what they do for their local communities," Captain Robert Kirkpatrick, president of the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation.














For more information about the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation visit cfff.ca


See more photos of Chilliwack firefighters below.








































Thanks for looking and if you see a fighter, thank them for what they do.




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