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TFD Holds Annual Memorial For Fallen Firefighters

Tulsa Fire Department
Tulsa Fire Department Chief Michael Baker (at lectern) at the 2020 Tulsa Fallen Firefighter Memorial on Sunday, Oct. 4.

Looking much different than usual due to the coronavirus pandemic, on Sunday the Tulsa Fire Department held its annual remembrance ceremony for active and retired firefighters who have passed away in the last year.

"The 2020 Tulsa Fallen Firefighter Memorial will be remembered as a socially distanced, mask-covered and video-streamed service," TFD Chief Michael Baker said at the event, held outside the Tulsa Fire Museum. "However, these physical changes in our annual ceremony will never distance, mask or disconnect us from the spirit, memories and legacy of our fallen brothers."

Baker read the names of 20 former members of the department who had died over the past 12 months, with a bell being rung for each and honor guard members saluted.

Matthew Lay, representing the Tulsa Firefighters Local 176 union chapter, said families of the fallen firefighters deserved recognition and honor, as well.

"From the very first missed birthday, anniversary or holiday, you became part of this firefighter family. Your children were born into this family. It's not always an easy family to be a part of, but we understand that your firefighter could not have done the work that they do, nor we do the work that we do today, without you," Lay said.

The annual TFD ceremony is scheduled to coincide with a memorial service at the National Fire Academy in Maryland, which recognizes fallen firefighters across the country.

Chris joined Public Radio Tulsa as a news anchor and reporter in April 2020. He’s a graduate of Hunter College and the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, both at the City University of New York.
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