The Bristol Fire Department continued its 59-year tradition of honoring its deceased members with the annual observance of Firefighter’s Memorial Sunday.
The observance began Sunday, June 8 with a Mass at St. Mary’s Church at 11 a.m., celebrated by department chaplain Rev. Barry J. Gamache.
At 1 p.m., Fire Chief Robert Martin accompanied a parade of firefighters from Church and High Street, marching north on High Street to Franklin Street, west on Franklin to Hope Street, south on Hope to State Street, west on State Street to Thames Street, and then south on Thames to Firefighters’ Memorial Park.
At 1:30 p.m., members of local clergy and fire department members attended memorial ceremonies in the park. A collation, to which the public was invited, followed.
The Firefighters’ Memorial parade was led by this year’s general chairman, Paul Vollaro, a life member of the Defiance Engine and Hose Company, and former captain and deputy chief.
Photos by Manuel C. “Manny” Correira.
This year's winner of the Vicky Van Voast Memorial Award was longtime firefighter Robert Holt, seen here with Bristol Fire Dept. Ladies Auxiliary vice president, Karen Irons. The Vicky Van Voast Memorial Award Committee was established in 2007 to select and honor one individual annually who exemplifies the same qualities of community spirit, volunteerism, and above all else, dedication to the Bristol Volunteer Fire Department that was characterized by one of the Auxiliary’s charter members, Victoria Van Voast.
Guest speaker David Cairrao (right) spoke about the dedication and sacrifices of fire department and rescue personnel in their important roles in the community.
Soloist Victoria Carroll gave a stirring rendition of the National Anthem.
Local firefighters salute their fallen comrades.
Camera buffs were out in full force at Firefighters' Memorial Park.
Firefighters' Sunday master of ceremonies David E. Barboza (left) goes over final details with Fire Chief Robert Martin.
James Vieira steers the fire department's historic (1934) Engine 10 along Hope Street.
Veteran fireman Raymond Castro helped coordinate the Firefighters' Parade.
Arthur P. Sousa (nearest camera), 95, rides proudly in the Firefighters' Parade. He joined the Defiance Hose Co. No. 1 on June 1, 1938, and is the oldest living member of the Bristol Fire Dept. He served as 2nd Lt. from 1949 - 1954, and is a charter member of the Firemen's Memorial Committee.
The Mystic, Connecticut Highland Pipe Band.
Firefighters' Memorial Sunday Chairman Paul Vollaro (center) leads the parade up High Street.