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Sunday service to honor fallen Missouri firefighters

by Michael Shine | May 13, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.

KINGDOM CITY -- People will gather in Kingdom City this weekend to recognize fallen firefighters from around the state.

A candlelight vigil will be at 9 p.m. Saturday, and a memorial service will be at 10:30 a.m. Sunday. Both events will be held at the Fire Fighters Memorial of Missouri in Kingdom City.

During the Sunday morning service, seven Missouri firefighters who died in the line of duty will be added to the monument wall.

Four of those being honored died in 2021 while the other three died in previous years. However, their deaths were recently confirmed to be from work.

Gov. Mike Parson has proclaimed Sunday as Fire Service Memorial Day in Missouri in honor of the ceremony.

"Missouri's firefighters can be relied upon to answer the alarm bell whenever it sounds and protect the lives and property of their fellow Missourians," Parson said. "We will always honor and remember the courageous individuals who paid the ultimate price for their dedication to public service and their communities."

Those being recognized include Rodney Heard, of the St. Louis Fire Department; Battalion Chief Marvin Shaffrey, of the Cedar Hill Fire Department; Capt. Ivan LaGrand, of the Cape Girardeau Fire Department; Assistant Chief Bryant Gladney, of the Boone County Fire Protection District; Rescue Specialist Ralph Goddard, of the Springfield Fire Department; George W. Shoemaker, of the Brookfield Fire Department; and foreman Cornelius C. Crowley, of the St. Joseph Fire Department.

"Each year, I am inspired and grateful as Missouri's fire service comes together to honor our fellow firefighters who made the highest sacrifice to protect others from harm," State Fire Marshal Tim Bean said. "I am grateful for their service, the lives they led and the legacy they've left behind. I'm inspired by the strength I witness in the survivors they left behind and their fellow firefighters, who continue to carry out the fallen firefighters' legacy of brave and selfless service."

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