Ivy Hill Cemetery
of Alexandria this year
proudly hosts it's
Anniversary and the
41st Anniversary of the dedication of the Circle of Honor and the 10th Anniversary of the re-dedication
of Friendship Fountain remembering the events of 9-11 and the men and women of FDNY
in conjunction with the Alexandria Fire Department's Annual Memorial Service
This year marks the 154th Anniversary of Ivy Hill Cemetery Company of Alexandria. We have again chosen to observe this anniversary in conjunction with the Alexandria Fire Department's Annual Memorial Service. When the Cemetery was opened and dedicated in 1856 so to was the obelisk monument dedicated to seven firemen who lost their lives in an 1855 fire. It is very fitting to observe the relationship that begin 154 years ago between the Fire Department and Ivy Hill Cemetery at what amounts to a double 153rd Anniversary. We gather together during Fire Prevention week to recognize our fire fighters, EMS and Department personal that keep us safe and to honor those that have been lost in so doing.
When President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed the first National Fire Prevention Week he noted that some 15,000 lives were lost to fire in the previous year. He said in part, "This waste results from the conditions which justify a sense of shame and horror; for the greater part of it could and ought to be prevented... . It is highly desirable that every effort be made to reform the conditions which have made possible so vast a destruction of the national wealth".
National Fire Prevention Week's date is determined by the week that contains the 9th of October. President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed the first National Fire Prevention Week, October 4 - 10 1925, and National Fire Prevention Week has been the week with October the 9th ever since. The significance of the week containing the 9th is that the Great Chicago Fire occurred on October 9, 1871. This massive fire took its toll, burning more than 2000 acres in 27 hours, leaving 100,000 homeless while destroying more than 17,000 structures, and killing some 300 people.
We hope the historical memorial to the fallen fire fighters here in Ivy Hill serves as a reminder of the role of fire prevention. Raising awareness of fire prevention practices reduces the probability of fire related deaths - of civilians and fire fighters. The staff of Ivy Hill is always proud to host this event and doubly proud to do so on the respective Sesquicentennials. Thus providing an opportunity for all of us to honor our fire fighters and the men and women of the Fire / EMS department that serve our community.
Please join in honoring the men and women of the Alexandria Fire Department during this moving Memorial Service and Wreath laying where a dramatic stage is set for this event as the entrance to the cemetery is framed by two ladder trucks, nose to nose, with ladders raised, forming an arch with “Old Glory” draped between them . Friendship Fountain and the 1856 Monument erected by the grateful citizens of Alexandria to the seven firefighters who lost their lives in an 1855 Alexandria fire is visible through the arch. The road which forms the outer boundary of the Circle of Honor is lined with an array of the fire department's vehicles and special equipment. The flags surrounding the Circle of Honor, the striking obelisk and the Friendship Fountain featuring a working fire hose nozzle add a powerful visual compliment to the Memorial Service.
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