A Fort Worth firefighter was among 92 added to the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial during an annual service in Emmetsburg, Md.
William Thompson began his career with the Fort Worth Fire Department (FWFD) in 1988 and served on a truck as long as he could before he was unable due to a respiratory illness he developed on the job. He continued to serve Fort Worth by working as a dispatcher and retired from FWFD 22 years later.
Thompson died April 28, 2014, due to that work-related illness.
Constructed in 1981, the 7-foot stone monument features a sculpted Maltese cross, the traditional symbol of the fire service. An engraved plaque on the monument bears a message from President Ronald Reagan. At the base of the monument, an eternal flame symbolizes the spirit of all firefighters, past, present and future. Plaques encircling the monument list the names of the men and women of the fire service who have died in service to their communities since 1981. Whenever a firefighter dies in the line of duty, fire officials post a notice of the death at the monument and lower flags at the site to half-staff.
Several active and former member of the FWFD accompanied the Thompson family to celebrate the service he provided to Fort Worth and to add his name to a long list of heroes who have given their lives protecting others.