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City of Philadelphia Honors Fallen Heroes in Annual ‘Living Flame’ Ceremony

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(Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter places the first of several wreaths at the Living Flame Memorial, in Franklin Square, during ceremonies on Wednesday.  Police commissioner Charles Ramsey and fire commissioner Lloyd Ayers also placed wreaths.  Photo by Mark Abrams)

(Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter places the first of several wreaths at the Living Flame Memorial, in Franklin Square, during ceremonies on Wednesday. Police commissioner Charles Ramsey and fire commissioner Lloyd Ayers also placed wreaths. Photo by Mark Abrams)

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Despite a steady rain today in Philadelphia, dozens of police officers, firefighters, and family members of those killed in the line of duty gathered for the city’s annual “living flame” memorial in Franklin Square.

Fire commissioner Lloyd Ayers was among those recognizing the sacrifices of those who paid the ultimate price for the citizens of Philadelphia.  Ayers read the citation adding the name of firefighter Joseph Dugan, who was seriously hurt fighting a ship fire in Philadelphia in 1942 and died several months later in 1943.

“He went down, fought the fire, became gravely injured, suffered, and died. Today, we honor his service.”

Dugan’s son, James, along with his two surviving sisters and Municipal Court judge Patrick Dugan, the grandson of the fallen firefighter, also attended.

James Dugan says his mother was left a young widow with eight children:

“We’re very honored here, and I’m sorry my mother’s not here, because she kept us all together.”

The presentation of several memorial wreaths was followed by a crisp rifle salute, the playing of “Taps” and “Amazing Grace” by the Philadelphia Police and Fire Pipes and Drums.

Reported by Mark Abrams, KYW Newsradio 1060

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