Phoenix Society Holds a Stirring Walk of Remembrance
The Phoenix Society’s World Burn Congress 2014 kicked off with a stirring and inspiring 'Walk of Remembrance' - with one the largest participation of attendees,ever! The walk was held from the Hilton Anaheim toward the Ocean Fountain of the Grand Plaza and saw a community of hundreds of burn survivors and their loved ones, burn care professionals, and firefighters gather to pay tribute to the lives lost to burn injuries. The walk also offered a time to remember our own losses and personal thoughts related to burn injuries.
Firefighters and volunteers escorted attendees along the walk route on this symbolic opening of the 26th Phoenix Society’s World Burn Congress with an impressive parade of fire trucks, the soulful sounds of the fire service Drum and Bagpipe Corps, and the overhead rumble of a helicopter flyover.
Speaking to the crowd at the Grand Plaza overlooking the Anaheim Convention Center, several speakers honored those lost to burn injuries and urged everyone assembled to join together to stop others from suffering the same loss through advocacy and prevention.
Speakers included Chief Randy Bruegman, Anaheim Fire and Rescue, Dr. Victor Joe, medical director at UC Irvine Health Regional Burn Center, Cindy Rutter, survivor, Phoenix Society and Common Voices advocate, Jim Pauley, president of National Fire Protection Association, and Amy Acton, Survivor, executive director of Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors.
Amy Acton spoke to the crowd and introduced an exciting new initiative 'the Paradigm Challenge', in partnership with Project Paradigm and the American Red Cross, who are developing an annual innovation
challenge that will offer more than $250,000 in cash prizes and grants to inspire youth to work collaboratively to improve health and safety through prevention, preparedness, and resilience. The inaugural Challenge will focus on the prevention of injuries and fatalities caused by residential fires.
"No understands more than the Phoenix Society’s burn survivor community the impact of fire, America’s number one disaster threat," Amy said. "So, we are thrilled to partner with Project Paradigm and American Red Cross in promoting the annual Paradigm Youth Challenge to help solve the home fire problem."
Chief Bruegman and Anaheim Fire and Rescue closed the walk by conducting the crowd-moving 'Last Alarm Ceremony' in honor of fallen civilians and public safety personnel who have perished in fires.
Check out some of the memorable photos from yesterday’s Walk of Remembrance below. In the words of Pam Peterson, "It was a goosebump event!"
Our special thanks to the following fire service agencies who participated in the walk:
- Anaheim Fire & Rescue Honor Guard
- Anaheim Police Department Honor Guard
- Huntington Beach Fire Department Honor Guard
- Los Angeles County Fire Department Honor Guard
- Riverside City Fire Department
Pipes & Drum Corps
- San Bernardino City Professional Firefighters Pipes & Drums Corps
- Orange County Fire Authority Pipes and Drums