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Over 200 Gather For Fallen Heroes Memorial Service

Over 200 Gather For Fallen Heroes Memorial Service

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The Post-Standard via YellowBrix

May 21, 2010

SYRACUSE, NY — Nearly 200 people, half of them in uniform, gathered for a memorial service for fallen firefighters and Onondaga County Sheriff’s deputies.

The service included the reading of the names of all firefighters, auxiliary members and sheriff’s deputies who died this year.

Also read was a list of county firefighters who died in the line of duty. They stretched from Charles Connelly, a Dewitt firefighter who died in 1943, to Gerard Marcheterre, the Borodino firefighter who died in March.

Marcheterre, 50, became ill while riding a pumper truck to a barn collapse in Spafford. He was taken by ambulance to Cortland Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

Marchterre is the first county firefighter to die in the line of duty since 2002.

As each name was called, a silver bell, resting on the running board of Minoa Volunteer Fire Department’s antique fire truck, was rung a single time. In all, the bell rang 72 times.

At least eight fire departments were represented at the event, many marching silently at the start of the service, their fire badges bearing a black memorial band.

Manny Falcone, first vice president of the Onondaga County Volunteer Firemen’s Association, called on volunteer firefighters to “stay strong, respect our fellow firefighters, and never let the negativity of a few get us down. If we stand as one, we cannot and will not be broken down.”

After the service, Falcone said that in past years the service was held Saturday mornings and drew perhaps 30 or 40 participants.

Firefighter memorial service held Thursday in Syracuse