‘Silent Parade’ held to honor fallen firefighters

WALKER, Mich. -- A silent parade was held in Walker Thursday night, to honor firefighters lost in the line of duty.

Fire engines were lined up on Wilson Rd., with the newest engines first in line to be blessed.

It was truly a silent parade as the emergency lights were on, but no sirens or air horns were activated.

Representatives from Walker, Grand Rapids, Kentwood and more were present, honoring their deceased personnel during a roll-call, each followed by the ringing of the bell, and capped off with a performance of 'Amazing Grace.'

Mark Huizenga, the Mayor of the City of Walker, highlighted the great act of bravery firefighters display every day.

"All of these dedicated men and women are professionals who work to protect the residents in their communities," said Mayor Huizenga.

Mental health was also highlighted during the memorial, as David Glotzbach, Chief of the Muskegon Township Fire Department, pointed out, "Our mental stress injuries need to be viewed in the same light as a physical injury to remove any negative stigma associated with mental wellness."

"As we honor those who have passed away, use that honor in their memory to help your fellow firefighters to seek the help needed, no matter the type of injury, mental or physical," said Glotzbach.

The Michigan Association of Fire Chiefs started the 'Yellow Rose Task Force' in July, to provide resources and support to chief officers navigating mental injuries on the job.

 

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