A Disgraceful Act

by Bill Scheel


In the early morning hours of Wednesday, 2 August, 2000, the flags from the Fire Fighter’s Memorial beside the fire station were stolen. As a career fire fighter here in the City of Toronto, I take great pride in the hours of hard work that went into the planing and building of this memorial. This was our way of thanking those who came before us of the commitment they made to this department and to the citizens of Toronto. Believe me, there was plenty of blood and sweat poured into this memorial, not the mention the friendships that were stressed because of the desire to build a building that we, and the citizens of Toronto, could be proud of.

The flags being stolen was a disgraceful act in and of itself, but then we found our fire department flag lying on the ground in the south end of town. The American Flag has never been found. The flags have been replaced and are proudly flying once again in front of our memorial. The flags are our way of showing respect to our country, our city, and our profession. The red and black flag shows our respects to those in our profession, both career and volunteer, who have given their lives to protect those of the citizens they serve.

This act, though disheartening, will not dampen the spirits of those of us who care for the memorial. We will continue to make this memorial a strong tribute to the wills and memories of those lost who served their citizens well, those serving the citizens now, and those who will serve the citizens in the future.

Maybe someday, whoever stole the flags will become a part of this great brotherhood we call fire fighting. Then that person or persons will know why we feel that this act was not only disgraceful to the fire department, but to the country, the citizens of Toronto, and to the memories of those for whom the memorial was built.

William C. Scheel, Fire Fighter
Toronto City Fire Department

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