The plaintive wail of bagpipes fills in where 19 years ago sirens sounded.
A prayer goes up from the same spot where firefighters called out over crackling radios hoping to hear something that would lead them to Lt. Thomas Spencer, Lt. James Lyons or firefighters Paul Brotherton, Timothy Jackson, Jeremiah Lucey of Joseph McGuirk who were lost inside the maze-like interior of the Worcester Cold Storage Warehouse on Dec. 3, 1999.
With almost two decades gone since the loss of the six firefighters there is an uplifting feeling of support when hundreds turn out for an unpublicized memorial; a brief ceremony in which the initial call for the fire is replayed: Striking Box 1438 Franklin at Harding Street for a reported building fire at 266 Franklin St. Respond with Engine 12, Engine 1, Engine 6, Engine 13, Ladder 5, Ladder 1, the North End Chief and the rescue. Time of the box, 1813 hours.”
The sharp edges of the pain are wearing down with time and the happy memories are more readily recalled now.