Most firefighters are looking for closure, the chief said.
By JOHN W. GOODWIN JR.
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Firefighters in the Mahoning Valley and around the country watched in horror Sept. 11 as fellow firefighters lost their lives at the World Trade Center.
Now, local firefighters will come together at 3 p.m. Nov. 18 at Powers Auditorium in Youngstown to remember the lost lives of their fallen brothers. The Mahoning County Fire Chiefs' Association is sponsoring the community-wide memorial service.
James Dorman, association president, said all firefighters from Mahoning County and their families are invited to the memorial service.
Firefighters from surrounding areas are also invited, he said, but beyond that, participation is by invitation-only to make certain there is enough space for all who show up.
What's planned: Dorman said the service will start with a march led by the honor guard and bagpipe corps from the No. 1 Fire Station to Powers Auditorium.
Those waiting inside Powers during the procession will see the activities outside via closed-circuit TV. After the procession, as people file into the auditorium, Dorman said there will be a slide show of events on and since the Sept. 11 attacks.
Participants will then hear from speakers including state Sen. Robert F. Hagan of Youngstown, D-33rd, and Jerry Holland, 8th District Firefighters' Association vice president emeritus. Local ministers also are slated to speak.
Dorman said the program and speakers will focus on the fallen firefighters, their dedication to duty and the overall dangers associated with being a firefighter.
Mary Jo Maluso will sing throughout the ceremony. Dorman said many patriotic songs including the national anthem will be performed.
Purpose: Dorman said such a local service is needed in order for firefighters to find closure after the attacks and massive loss of life Sept. 11. He said many local firefighters wanted to go to New York to help in the rescue effort but were unable to do so.
"It was just hard to watch brother firefighters and sister firefighters in such large numbers go into a dangerous situation and not come out," said Dorman.
"It is something that we are all prepared to do, but to see this happen in such large numbers is really hard on everybody. We know that firefighters across the nation would probably all do the same thing and in many cases have done the same thing."
The ceremony, said Dorman, will aid the healing process not only for firefighters, but others in the community as well.