Two men who died while serving with the N.C. Forest Service in the 1950s will be among 11 firefighters honored during the N.C. Fallen Firefighter Foundation’s Annual Parade of Honor and Memorial Service on Saturday, May 3, in Raleigh. Fire departments from across the state will participate in the event.
James A. Kennedy, a firefighting equipment operator, died March 2, 1955, while operating a tractor-plow unit on a fire in Craven County. Thomas E “Lige” Begley, district ranger, died Dec. 21, 1958, while fighting a fire in Buncombe County.
“These men paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving their community,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “This is a fitting tribute to these heroes.”
Representatives with the N.C. Forest Service will be escorting the families of their comrades in appreciation of their service to the forest firefighting community.
The parade will begin at 10 a.m. and follow Hillsborough Street from St. Mary’s Street to S. Dawson Street, ending at Nash Square where the Fallen Fighter Memorial is located. At 1 p.m. in Nash Square, participants will honor those 11 firefighters that made the ultimate sacrifice while serving the citizens of North Carolina.
The N.C. Forest Service will have a hauling unit and Type 6 engine in the parade to pay tribute to the 20 Forest Service employees who have died in the line of duty over the years, including Kennedy and Begley, whose names will be added to the stone tablets in Nash Square. The newly formed NCFS Honor Guard will participate in this year’s event for the first time.
To learn more about the services, visit the NCFFF website.