Police and fire departments are steeped in tradition, and one tradition that Brookfield’s first-responders and the Brookfield Township Volunteer Fireman’s Auxiliary continue is the annual memorial service.
“This Memorial Day finds us assembled here for the noble purpose of paying out sincere respects to the memory of those departed police officers, firefighters and auxiliary members whose lives were dedicated to the service of others in their giving of themselves for the protection of life, property and the promotion of good will throughout our community,” said volunteer fire Capt. Randy Richman at the May 21 service.
The service also sought to renew the community spirit of those who currently serve; thanked the families who suffer the absences and still support the efforts of their loved ones; paid tribute to recent retirees police Cpl. Ralph Marchio and fire Capt. Dave Coffy for their roles in shaping the men and women of their departments; acknowledged the role the community being served plays in inspiring those who serve it; and promoted the mutual admiration society Brookfield’s safety services have with each other.
“Community means more than what this badge says,” Richman said.
Fire Chief David Masirovits spoke of the culture of the fire service, which provides a “guiding light” to those who serve, passes on the tradition and the skills to serve, and reinforces its service goals.
“Riches are not found in a fire truck or a police car,” he said.
The occasion is solemn, with the reading of the list of firefighters and auxiliary members who have died, dating back to the 1950s, and short biographies of Ohio police officers who died in the line of duty in the past two years. But, it’s not all sad, said police Cpl. Scott Thompson. It allows the participants to catch up with those they haven’t seen for a while.
“One thing I do know about this township is our greatest resource is you,” Thompson said to members of the public who attended. “Without you guys, we wouldn’t be here, the firemen wouldn’t be here, we would have no reason to be here. We’re here because of you.”
The respect of the community “makes it personal,” Thompson said. “You’ve made it mean something, and you should be commended for that.”
Pastor Dick Smith of Brookfield United Methodist Church asked for “abundant blessings” upon the safety services, while Chaplain Dan Cesene asked the first responders to continuously ask themselves why they do what they do, and to do it with a sense of purpose.
He noted that the tradition of the memorial service is shared by more than those who were in attendance.
“Those in the grandstands of heaven are part of this special time,” he said.