Oct 3– Continuing a tradition that is now several years old, Monroe Fire Company attended the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service today – joining other fire departments from Cumberland County and across the nation. Monroe firefighters, dressed in their Class A uniforms and standing at attention, became a “sea of blue” during today’s memorial service; lining the walkway as the family members of the 80 firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2009 walked into the ceremony. Engine 25 was also featured at the entrance this year, joining New Kingstown and Union of Carlisle.
Two Monroe firefighters, Lt. Beecher and FF Eichelberger particpated in the entire weekend event, serving as representatives for the family of Joseph T. Grace, of the Saint Tammany Fire Protection District #4 – Mandeville (LA) Fire Dept, who were unable to attend the event.
About Joseph T. Grace (from firehero.org)
“Following a busy shift on July 8 with the Mandeville Fire Department, Joseph Grace collapsed while at his second job as a paramedic the following day and died on July 10, 2009.
Joseph T. Grace was born on October 23, 1961, in New Orleans, son of the late Mary Elizabeth and Christopher Thomas Grace.
He married Penny Ryan Grace, and they had three children together, Taylor, Ryan, and Peyton Grace. He was a devoted husband and father, always involved in his children’s education, their sports, and their lives, whether it was throwing a ball, fishing, going to the movies, anything. He just loved being around his family all the time. He was always joking and had lots of energy. He loved his wife and kids very much, and everyone loved being around him. He was a happy person with lots of personality. Joseph never met a stranger. He was always willing to lend a helping hand, and nothing was ever too much for him. He loved doing new things around the house and beyond and had many dreams. Joseph was an avid New Orleans Saints fan, and we all loved going to the Saints games.
Joseph talked about being a firefighter. He was always helping people and always wanted to make it his life. So in 2001, Joseph got on with the St. Tammany Fire Department. He was so excited; his dream had come true. From the first day we met, he was always helping people, and he continued to do so with the fire department while also saving lives. He was then promoted to fire operator and went on to become a paramedic. He again was very excited and really knew this is what his purpose in life was. He was always willing to learn and keep learning. He was a wonderful, very genuine man, always with a smile.
We miss him so much. He is our angel. But we thank God every day for allowing this wonderful man to touch our lives and for the wonderful memories we have of him. God took Joseph, a beautiful man, a great package, the all around best. He will live forever in our hearts and lives. The best will be passed on to his wife and kids forever, and that best is Joseph T. Grace, forever thought about and missed.”
Photos from the NFFF Weekend
For more information on the National Fallen Firefighters Weekend, including video and photos from the event, click here.