ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Dozens of fallen firefighters were recognized in a ceremony Tuesday at Empire State Plaza. The heroes from across the state were honored by their fellow firefighters, state leaders and Governor Kathy Hochul.
“You are here no matter how hard it hurts you, you are here to show the person who’s now looking at you, saying ‘you mattered’,” Hochul said.
Those honored included those who died as recently as this year, and as far back as 1881. Some lost their lives in the line of duty, and others who succumbed to illness after responding on September 11th. Their names are now immortalized on the memorial, along with thousands of others.
Two of them were from the Capital Region.
“Today was one of the days that I remember my dad, and if he had one more day to live, today was the day,” said Tom Thomas, whose father, Donald, was memorialized.
Thomas lost his life in the line of duty with the Ballston Spa Fire Department back in 1961, “After 60 years, you think you would kind of forget things and things would level off, but it never does,” his son explained.
His commitment to serving his community, inspiring his sons to join the department, “There’s no greater family than a firefighter. It’s been a tradition from the beginning, and it will to the end,” Thomas said.