About five years after his death, a Fort Worth firefighter’s legacy will live on in Emmitsburg, Maryland, at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial.
William Thompson, who began his career as a firefighter in 1988, contracted a respiratory illness on the job and eventually had to stop responding to fires, according to a press release from the Fort Worth Fire Department. But he continued to serve the department as a dispatcher for 22 years until he retired, the department said.
He died on April 28, 2014, of the respiratory illness.
On Sunday, his name will be added to the memorial, along with 92 firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2018 and 26 who died in past years.
Members of Thompson’s family are attending a ceremony for the fallen firefighters. Several active and former Fort Worth firefighters will join them.
“He will be remembered and forever missed with love and appreciation for his years as a devoted husband, father and for his service to the community,” the department said in the release.
One of the plaques that circle the 7-foot-tall monument will bear his name, according to the release. At the base, there’s an eternal flame meant to symbolize the spirit of firefighters, past, present and future.
There’s also an engraved plaque on the monument with a message from President Ronald Reagan and a Maltese Cross, the traditional symbol of fire service, according to the release.
The monument, which was constructed in 1981, has honored the men and women firefighters who have died in service to their communities.