More than 25 years after Philadelphia Police Det. Gerard W. Traynor died, his name will be put on the city’s Living Flame Memorial on Tuesday.
It took nearly three decades for officials and Traynor’s family to deem his death as happening in the line of duty. He died of a heart attack a day after a fight with a prisoner who had been aggressive.
He will be honored along with other fallen police and fire personnel at the annual ceremony today at noon at Franklin Square Park.
“It’s a way to acknowledge that their deaths were not in vain,” said Randy Giancaterino, city spokesman, “and to have them all in one place so they have a presence.”
Mayor Michael Nutter joins Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers, Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, members of both fire and police and dozens of other local and regional groups for the memorial service.
There are about 500 names of police officers and firefighters who have died in the line of duty in Philadelphia since the city has been keeping records, said Giancaterino.
Luckily, there have been no firefighter or police officer deaths in Philadelphia in a year. Firefighter Capt. Michael Goodwin was killed in April of 2013 in a Queen Village fire.
To see photos from last year’s event, click here.