Fallen Firefighters and Police Honored

The annual Living Flame Memorial Service honoring police and firefighters killed in the line of duty was held Wednesday at Franklin Square.

During the speeches before the wreath-laying ceremony, I was wandering in the rear of the crowd when I saw Police Crpl. Robert Pawlowski and a young boy meandering among the uniformed officers just as I was doing.

Pawlowski seemed to know everybody, but the youngster wasn't as outgoing.

After photographing them for a while, I introduced myself.

The Corporal an instructor at the Police Academy, and his brother, John Pawlowski, also a cop, was murdered in 2009, shot with a gun hidden in the killer's pocket as he and his partner responded to a taxi cab dispute in Logan.

John, Jr. was born a few months after his dad died.

Reaching his hand out is Inspector Aaron Horne, who was Pawlowski's commanding officer. Later I photographed John, Jr. with his mother placing flowers on his name on the memorial.

Since records were kept in the Philadelphia Fire Department in 1871, 288 members of the department have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. Since 1828, at least 250 Philadelphia police officers have died while on duty.

Names added this year were Fire Lt. Robert Neary and Firefighter Daniel Sweeney, killed last month in a fire at an abandoned warehouse in Kensington. No active police personnel have died in the line of duty since last year’s service. More photos from the service here. The video is below.

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