Fire districts honor those who served

Jun 9, 2019

For those who don’t live in Padanaram or know a firefighter, the parade which sweeps through the village on the second Sunday of June is a relatively unknown event. 

The Dartmouth firefighters’ memorial parade, which is held concurrently with memorial services across the state, coincides with Firemen’s Memorial Sunday. The annual memorial, held since the end of World War II, is intended to honor those who have served as firefighters. 

Members of each of Dartmouth’s three fire districts marched from the District No. 1 station on Bridge Street to South Dartmouth Cemetery with a parade of fire trucks and students from Dartmouth’s marching band. Once mustered at the flagpole, officials from all three districts read aloud the names of each firefighter who has passed away since each district’s founding.

“It’s during Firemen’s Memorial Sunday to recognize the members of Districts 1, 2, 3, starting from their inception,” said District No. 1 Deputy Chief Jake Bettencourt.

All told, the list read aloud by each district totaled nearly 300 names spanning from each district’s founding — 1917, 1921, and 1927, respectively.

Once the service was finished, amid a small group of onlookers — local residents, and firefighter families — watched as the procession marched back to the District No. 1 station for refreshments, fire station tours, and impromptu reunions of several former district officials.