SPECIAL to the DEMOCRAT
For several years members of the Greenwood Volunteer Fire Department have wanted a ceremonial bell that could be used in the department’s firefighting ceremonies. A few months ago, residents Robbie and Melinda Mayes-Kelly made a donation to the department for the specific purpose of acquiring a bell. Then Enrico Barone, another resident, saw the bell at the station and offered to build a stand for it. Enrico is retired and is a skilled woodworker. He built a beautiful stand which has wheels and is mobile.
The fire service is rich in tradition and the firehouse bell is at the center of that tradition. Greenwood is planning to use the bell to honor fallen firefighters. The Greenwood crew is planning an annual memorial service which will be on Sept. 11th. In addition, they will honor the fallen throughout the year. They plan to honor all of the firefighters who have served the Greenwood Community over the last 47 years.
In the United States each year, over 100 firefighters die in the line of duty, serving their communities. This year, in Texas alone, there have been 21 firefighter line-of-duty deaths.
Chief John Burgoyne said, “The heritage and rich traditions of the fire service are very important to all firefighters and this bell – presented to us by members of our community – will be the centerpiece of the heritage of our culture.”
Robbie and Melinda Mayes-Kelly added, “We have supported our volunteer fire department since moving here more than ten years ago. It is with great honor and privilege that we donate this bell to the department and greater community. We must remember and honor our fallen heroes.”