14 Philadelphia lives honored at 2022 Living Flame Memorial Service

Names of police officers lost since 2019 are etched on the Living Flame Memorial at Franklin Square Park in Philadelphia. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

“Unconscionable,” was how Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw described the number of police officers and firefighters lost since 2019.

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Family members of fallen police officers and firefighters placed flowers on their loved ones’ names at the the 2022 Living Flame Memorial Service. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)
Family members of fallen police officers and firefighters placed flowers on their loved ones’ names at the the 2022 Living Flame Memorial Service. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

The Living Flame Memorial Service was put on hold in 2020 and 2021, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and the 14 who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty during that time were finally honored at a ceremony in Franklin Square Park on Wednesday afternoon.

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Family members of fallen police officers and firefighters in Philadelphia grieved the loss of their loved ones at the Living Flame Memorial Service on May 4, 2022. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)
Family members of fallen police officers and firefighters in Philadelphia grieved the loss of their loved ones at the Living Flame Memorial Service on May 4, 2022. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Philadelphia’s top brass, including Police Commissioner Outlaw, Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel, along with Mayor Jim Kenney, Pa. Governor Tom Wolf, and FOP president John McNesby, shared a stage to honor the fallen:

  • Sergeant James O’Connor
  • Captain James Walker
  • Sergeant Jos Novoa
  • Officer Tab Ali
  • Captain Frank Milillo
  • Sergeant Joseph Youse
  • Officer Erin Tokley
  • Officer Vladimir Maleev
  • Corporal Deborah Rosaria, of the Philadelphia Police Department
  • Firefighter Michael Bernstein
  • Firefighter Eric M. Gore
  • Fireboat Pilot John Evans
  • Lieutenant Charles Grover
  • Lieutenant Terrence Gordon, of the Philadelphia Fire Department.

Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel told family members that all in the department were bruised and scarred by the losses, and recalled when COVID-19 shut down the world, the police and fire departments of Philadelphia were not shut down.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw placed wreaths of flowers at the Living Flame Memorial, on May 4, 2022. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Fire Department Chaplain William Speakes comforted grieving family members in attendance with prayer. “There is no greater love than to lay down their lives for a friend,” he said.

Names of firefighters lost since 2019 are etched on the Living Flame Memorial at Franklin Square Park in Philadelphia. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)
Names of firefighters lost since 2019 are etched on the Living Flame Memorial at Franklin Square Park in Philadelphia. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Their names are now forever etched on the Living Flame Memorial, where their loved ones laid red and white carnations.

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