By Pat Loeb
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia’s annual remembrance for fallen heroes took on an especially somber tone today, as the families of two firefighters killed in the line of duty last month laid wreaths at the Living Flame memorial service.
A bell, the “last alarm,” was rung and white doves were released for the firefighters, posthumously promoted to Captain Robert Neary and Lieutenant Dan Sweeney, killed during a huge Kensington warehouse fire on April 9th (see related story).
Fire commissioner Lloyd Ayers noted today that both men had been cited several times for rescuing civilians from fires, doing just what they were doing in the tragic warehouse fire that took their lives.
“Dare we limit our gratitude only to such occasions, only to such tragedies?” Ayers asked the crowd.
Diane Neary spoke to reporters after the ceremony, advocating efforts to make firefighting safer, “so that they can come home to their families — as I now will have to come home with just memories of my husband.”