Silent tribute to fallen firefighters leads off in Hinsdale
Fire trucks and engines from about 30 area fire departments participated in a silent parade from Hinsdale to Lisle Friday evening to honor firefighters who died in the line of duty and victims of fatal fires. | Kimberly Fornek—Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 19, 2012 2:05PM
HINSDALE — Their lights shone brightly in the dark, as a parade of fire department vehicles moved silently down Chicago Avenue Friday evening.
The significance of the parade, which started in Hinsdale and continued west through Clarendon Hills, Westmont, Downers Grove and Lisle, was twofold, said Hinsdale firefighter Steve Tullis.
“It honors firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty and any civilians who have been the victims of fatal fires,” Tullis said.
Firefighters hung the American flag from aerial ladders that crossed above the intersection of Chicago and Washington Street.
Two firefighters’ jackets and helmets were set on the street in front of the Western Springs fire truck.
“That’s our gear,” said Western Springs Fire Capt. Steve Heinzelman. “We stand behind it to honor firefighters who lost their lives across the country this year and years past.”
“I’ve done this every year for the past 10 to 12 years,” Heinzelman said. “I don’t look forward to it, but that’s how the Fire Department pays respect to its fallen.”
Fire engines and trucks from about 30 different departments, including Addison, Bridgeview, Chicago Ridge, LaGrange Park, Lombard, North Aurora, Oakbrook Terrace and Warrenville, participated.
Jan McCarthy of Westchester stood along Chicago Avenue with her children looking for her husband and her son, both firefighters, to pass.
“My son is driving the truck for Maywood and my husband has been a firefighter with Hinsdale for 30 years.”
At the conclusion of the parade, a memorial service for firefighters and others who have died in fires was held in the Trinity Lutheran Church in Lisle.