EMMITSBURG, Md. — The 37th Annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend brought family and friends together for a memorial service in Emmitsburg to honor the 80 men and women who died in the line of duty last year and remember 23 others who died in previous years.
Among the names read Sunday were Capt. Sander Cohen of the Rockville Fire Department, Charles “Rick” Gentilcore of Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services and Christopher Allen Staley of the Cobb Island Volunteer Fire Department and EMS.
“We must not forget that for every name recorded at this memorial, there are spouses, children, parents, siblings, other friends and loved ones, whose pain and loss continues,” said Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., who has been an advocate for firefighters and first responders.
Virginia Gentilcore sat among the crowd at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial service in honor of her husband, Rick Gentilcore, who died last year at his fire station in Burtonsville at 52-years-old.
“His real passion was firefighting,” said Gentilcore. “Raised in Silver Spring, he was Montgomery County through and through.”
Chief Scott Goldstein with Montgomery County Fire says Rick left an impression on everyone he met.
“Whether it was in his church community, he was always engaged in helping others,” said Goldstein.
Even as she copes with her own loss, Virginia says it’s events like this that help keep the memory of Rick and many others, alive.
“None of us want to be here but we are here and we are here together,” she said.