‘Recognize the service’: Fredonia Fire Department honors those who passed

Submitted photo Bob Hayward, Chaplain for the Fredonia Fire Department, places a duty flag on his father’s grave as a part of the effort to recognize deceased firefighters.

Members of the Fredonia Fire Department are working on honoring their deceased members with flags next to their gravesites at local cemeteries.

Chaplain of the department, Bob Hayward, along with a few others, have been traveling to local cemeteries where they know deceased firefighters are buried and are leaving duty flags next to their headstones. This includes any local cemetery where they know for sure a deceased firefighter is buried, such as Forest Hill, where Hayward’s father — one of the deceased firefighters that is on the current list of those receiving flags — is buried.

“This is the first year we decided to do this,” Hayward said. “It is something we will end up doing every year. We will take them down in the fall because of the weather around here, and put them back up in the spring.”

Hayward said the main focus right now is local cemeteries, but if the group is aware of other members buried in other cemeteries or states they plan to work with the families to get flags there as well.

Currently, the list the group is working with only dates back to the 1970s. They have compiled the list with the help of the Fredonia Fire Department’s secretary who went back through their records. The organization dates back to 1901, so the group still has many names to go through.

“This is something that is going to take awhile,” Hayward said. “We are slowly working on it.”

Even though it is something that is going to take a while to do, Hayward said he felt it was something that was important to do.

“I feel we should recognize the service that these firefighters gave to the community and honor them with a duty flag,” Hayward said.


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