On the 15th anniversary of September 11th members of the fire and police departments, local politicians, families, and many more, gathered at the London Fire Department Memorial Headquarters, to honour the brave men and women, and first responders, who lost their lives in the line of duty.
At the centre of the service stands a memorial, engraved in it, all of London’s fire personnel who have given the ultimate sacrifice.
Today another name was forever memorialized, local firefighter Cpt. Vincent Hart, who lost his life to lung cancer, in 2014.
His death was determined an occupational disease, attributed to the chemicals he was exposed to while doing his job.
The London Professional Firefighters Association (LPFFA) presented his family, with the Martin E. Pierce Commemorative Line-of-duty Death Medal, which is awarded to families whose loved ones, of firefighters, who have given their lives so others can have theirs.
Holding her husbands medal, an emotional Deanna Hart said to see everyone in attendance to honour her husband, and the brave others, was a special moment for their family.
“This is the first time, that we’ve seen his name on the memorial and for everybody who came here, it was just an honour for Vincent, and for us to see” she said.
Hart lives on through his children and grandchildren, his daughter Heather says having this medal in their family, to remember her father, is something special.
“Its a symbol of all the years of service that he’s provided but also what he’s given to us as a family. We’ve always known that my dad has been a protector for all of us and we’ve missed that when he’s passed because its always someone that we knew where we were going to be ok, as long as he was there.”
Despite this being an emotional day of significance for the Hart family, both Heather and Deanna wanted to extend their gratitude towards the LPFFA and remind everyone, that this day was in honour of not only firefighters, and police but all first responders.
“Our first responders really are hero’s, and they don’t work to be hero’s, they don’t want to be a hero, that is simply just who they are” said Deanna Hart.
Following the presentation of the Pierce Medal, was the Sounding of the Bell by retired Platoon Chief Peter Harding.
“The bell will sound once again for all firefighters who have given their lives in the line of duty. They have returned to quarters . Their duty has ended. They have answered their last alarm”
Harding, then proceeded to ring the bell three times in a series of three, carrying on a tradition that has been done for over two-hundred years at a firefighters funeral.
The Firefighters Prayer was then read by Father John Comiskey, followed by a lone piper performing Amazing Grace.