Long Beach, CA – Earlier today, City of Long Beach officials honored fallen Police and Fire Department employees at the annual Police and Fire Memorial Ceremony.
The morning event, a longstanding tradition for the Police and Fire Departments, was held at the Police and Fire Memorial monument in the Civic Center Plaza downtown and paid tribute to the 29 police employees and 14 firefighters who have lost their lives in service to the Long Beach community.
“Today we remember the service of our fallen Police and Fire personnel. We will forever honor their memory and recognize the sacrifices they made to protect our community,” said Mayor Robert Garcia.
The ceremony, attended by invited family and loved ones of the fallen, and livestreamed to the community, included remarks by Mayor Robert Garcia, Police Chief Wally Hebeish, Fire Chief Xavier Espino and was emceed by Police Deputy Chief Gerardo Prieto and Fire Deputy Chief Robbie Grego. Elements included the posting of the colors, flag presentation, and two time-honored traditions of the Police and Fire Departments – a 21-gun salute and “Last Alarm” tribute. The 21-gun salute, which consists of three ceremonial gunshot volleys conducted by the Long Beach City Honor Guards, is a tradition historically used by law enforcement, along with the playing of Taps, to honor, pay respect to, and bid farewell to its fallen. The “Last Alarm” tribute, in the past, signified the beginning and end to a firefighter’s day of service, their summoning to the call of duty, and the solemn announcement of a firefighter’s line of duty passing. Today, the ringing of the bell – three rings, three times each – serves as a moment of reflection, honor and respect to those who have given so much and who have served so well.
“Each year during this time we gather with family and friends to honor our fallen police officers and firefighters,” said Police Chief Wally Hebeish. “As we remember each of our loved ones, we are forever humbled by the sacrifice they made in service of our community.”
“It is an honor to once again come together to pay our respects to our fallen heroes,” said Fire Chief Xavier Espino. “The men and women of our fire and police departments who lost their lives in the line of duty did not die in vain. We will forever serve our community in their honor and always remember their ultimate sacrifices made. Their legacy will always be remembered.”
The memorial monument was installed in the Civic Center Plaza last spring and was a collaborative effort by the City and numerous business and community leaders.
Community members may watch a playback of the Police and Fire Memorial Ceremony on the following City platforms:
- City of Long Beach Facebook and Twitter pages @LongBeachCity and on YouTube@LongBeachCityCA
- Long Beach Police & Fire Department Facebook pages @LongBeachPD.CA and @LongBeachFD
- LBTV: LBTV3.com