Fire hall dedication an occasion for tribute


October 23, 2001|By Debra Taylor Young | Debra Taylor Young,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

FIREFIGHTERS, emergency medical workers and police officers were honored for their public service at Saturday's dedication of the Sykesville-Freedom District fire hall's addition.

State and local officials, dignitaries, firefighters and the community were on hand to witness the dedication, which was conducted by Robert P. Althoff Jr., Fire Department president.

Alluding to the tragic events of Sept. 11, Althoff said in an emotional address that firefighters, emergency medical workers and police officers are finally being recognized as heroes, mentors and role models to young people, "as they should be."

Volunteer fire departments deserve recognition because people sacrifice their time - and often their lives - without pay, he noted.

Alongside the podium, Engine 121 stood as a memorial to all firefighters, police officers and Emergency Medical Service personnel whose lives have been lost in the line of duty.

The engine was draped with black bunting and an American flag and adorned with firefighter turnout gear, EMS equipment and a police officer's gunbelt and hat.

In a short memorial ceremony, Althoff called the names of all deceased Sykesville-Freedom firefighters.

Firefighter Bill Rehkopf played taps while department members stood at attention.

County Commissioner Julia Walsh Gouge was among the many who offered thanks and support for the Fire Department's efforts.

She said residents can sleep comfortably knowing the men and women of the department are on call 24 hours a day. She noted the sacrifice they make and offered thanks to their families.

The keynote speaker was Richard N. Dixon, state treasurer and a Carroll County native. Dixon was instrumental in the state deeding 30 acres to the Fire Department for the building addition.

The dedication included a flag-raising ceremony by Boy Scout Troop 417 and Cub Scout Pack 417.

In a tradition dating to the days of horse-drawn fire engines, firefighters pushed two pieces of fire apparatus into the new bays.

Chief Bobby Ray Chesney said the symbolic "pushing of the engine" is a tradition with new equipment or new buildings.

After the ceremony, those who attended were invited to tour the facility, which consists of a 10,000-square-foot addition, and 13,500 square feet of renovated space.

The renovation includes dormitories, a classroom, dayroom, offices and expanded storage.

The addition contains storage and two apparatus bays.

The ladies' auxiliary provided refreshments, and was honored for its contributions.

Halloween happenings

Sykesville Parks and Recreation Department is sponsoring two Halloween youth events Saturday.

A Children's Halloween Costume Judging Contest will be held at 10 a.m. at the Town House on Main Street. This event is for ages 10 and younger.

Prizes will be awarded for the most original, scariest, cutest, and wild-and-craziest costumes.

Treats will be available at the Town House. After costume judging, children can visit businesses with a witch or pumpkin in the window to collect goodies.

Youths ages 11 to 16 can attend a celebration from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Millard Cooper Park. The band Cherrysmash will perform.

Prizes will be awarded for costumes in the same categories as above. Pizza and soda will be sold.

Information: Lynn Ronayne, 410-795-8959.

Holy Trinity Visitors Day

Holy Trinity Cemetery is holding its annual Visitors Day from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at 1137 Liberty Road.

Holy Trinity Cemetery dates to 1771. A "guest from the past" re-enactor of someone buried in or connected with the cemetery will visit.

Refreshments will be served. Children are welcome to wear Halloween costumes to the event. An donation is requested.

Information: caretaker Ann Horvath, 410-526-4878.

Debra Taylor Young's Southeast neighborhood column appears each Tuesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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