Arlington County Fire Department honors America's fallen
August 20, 2014
WASHINGTON (Aug. 20, 2014) -- Chief of the Arlington County Fire Department, Jim Schwartz, paid his respects to America's fallen heroes during an Army Full Honors Wreath Laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery, Va.
The wreath laying was part of an ongoing engagement program between Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region and the U.S. Army Military District of Washington and its interagency partners. Laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is an honor usually bestowed upon military personnel and visiting foreign dignitaries.
"The relationship between the Arlington County Fire Department and MDW was firmly established through the shared experience of the 9/11 attack at the Pentagon," said Schwartz. "Since then the two organizations have continued their service to the National Capital Region through interagency collaboration during special events, exercises and shared learning that has strengthened the safety and security of the region."
The Arlington County Fire Department consists of 320 personnel that provide fire, emergency medical services, hazardous materials, and technical rescue response to an urban community of 210,000 residents in an area of 26 square miles. The department was also the lead agency for the response to the Sept. 11 attack at the Pentagon.
"It is an honor to participate in an event normally reserved for national leaders and foreign dignitaries," said Schwartz. "To pay tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice alongside Maj. Gen. Buchanan is a humbling experience."
Schwartz was accompanied by Maj. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan, JFHQ-NCR/MDW commanding general. Prior to the ceremony Schwartz watched the changing of the guard ceremony. Following the wreath laying Schwartz received a briefing on the operational and historical aspects of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by Sgt. Patrick M. Leamy, Assistant Sergeant of the Guard.
"Members of the Arlington County Fire Department have a tremendous respect for the effort and sacrifice put forth by the men and women of the military," said Schwartz. "The last 13 years have heightened the understanding that the military and civilian public safety have a similar mission; protecting our communities and our nation."