Kitchener Community Honors Fallen Firefighters in Poignant Ceremony

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In Kitchener, a solemn ceremony took place on Sunday, as the community came together to acknowledge and commemorate firefighters who have surrendered their lives while on duty.

Queens Street played host to a somber procession which concluded at the Fallen Firefighter Memorial in Civic Centre Park. Here, a collection of family, friends, and colleagues assembled to present their deepest respect and gratitude to those valiant souls who had served and made the ultimate sacrifice.

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“The work carried out by these brave individuals will forever be held in high esteem. We respect, recognize and remember you today and always,” a speaker shared with the crowd, encapsulating the communal grief and reverence.

The monument dedicated to these Kitchener firefighters is adorned by fire helmets – symbols of their courageous service. A poignant moment unfolded as an 18th helmet was incorporated into the memorial, paying tribute to Michael D. Pearce, a noble firefighter who fell in 2021.

The late Pearce’s wife and daughter were present at the ceremony during this unveiling. Pearce’s widow, Sarah Deter noted, “Michael’s presence will forever echo in this park. As she plays, our daughter will be under his watchful gaze. The helmet with his name will serve as an enduring legacy and a beacon of beautiful memories for everyone who knew him.”

Not only was the ennobled Pearce an adored family man, but he was also viewed as a brother within the Kitchener Fire Department, having served the community for over ten years.

The fire department represents a broad kinship network,” Chief Robert Gilmore elucidated, “we see it as an extended family.” No hero is ever forgotten. Honoring the vital contributions of Michael Pearce and his fellow heroes, Deter noted that “He loved the fire department. His every day was focused on aiding people.”

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