Annual memorial parade through Padanaram honors late firefighters

Jun 11, 2023

The annual memorial parade took over Elm Street in Padanaram the morning of Sunday, June 11, as the fire districts marched to the South Dartmouth Cemetery. 

The procession comprised of firefighters from all three fire districts dressed in uniform, with flag carriers leading the charge.

In front of them, the High School marching band appropriately played marching tunes.

Fire engines and police cars tailed the marching lines, closing off the street to traffic. 

After an invocation from Father Scott Ciosek of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, each Fire District chief read a full list of the town’s deceased firefighters. After each name is read aloud, a small bell is rung.

At the end of the full name reading, which lasted about 20 minutes, a bugle player from the school band played “Taps.”

“It’s just to make sure we honor everyone that we know has passed, so that no firefighter is forgotten,” said Fire District 2 Chief Erick Turcotte.  

The ceremony concluded with the placement of two standing wreaths next to the flag pole. 

Most of the past firefighters live in the area and have family in the area,” said Turcotte. “So it’s a time for the family to honor their family members who have passed.”

Turcotte’s not sure how long the parade’s been happening, but he said he’s been with the fire department for 25 years and it’s always been a summer tradition. He said most communities in Massachusetts hold the same event. 

The parade brought out around 50 people for the reading of the names, and around 30 more people watched from the sidewalk as the firefighters returned to the District 1 station.

A reception followed the parade inside the station.