On June 26 at 10 am every year, Portland firefighters gather at the Portland Firefighters Park on West Burnside Street to honor those who have died in the line of duty. The honor guard performs and the commemorative bell is rung 36 times for each life lost. The Campbell Memorial service was established in 1913 to carry forward the memory of Portland's heroic Fire Chief David Campbell. Chief Campbell died in a 1911 building collapse after ordering all firefighters from the burning structure.
On June 26 this year, there will an additional event to highlight the history and sacrifice of firefighters: a memorial at Lone Fir Cemetery at 11:30 am that same day will dedicate commemorative gravemarkers to honor 12 of the 36 Portland firefighters who have died in the line of duty. Lone Fir has a special firefighter's section (block 5 located between SE Morrison and Stark Streets, and between SE 20th and 26th Avenues). This event will also dedicate nine additional gravemarkers placed on firefighter graves with lost or missing markers. Of note is the inclusion for the first time of Gus Waterford, whose grave was discovered by a class of Madison High School students. Waterford, who was born in 1860 and died in 1909, is Portland's first black firefighter. The public is invited to Lone Fir for this special dedication ceremony.
The Firefighter's Section (Block 5) of Lone Fir Cemetery was deeded to Portland Firefighters on November 16, 1862 by property owner Colburn Barrell. Today, Metro oversees this cemetery.
Walking in is preferred to minimize traffic in the cemetery but for those with mobility issues, driving in is an option. Signs will provide direction for those not familiar with the Firefighter's Section. Parking in the Cemetery must remain on the pavement. Parking to the side of the roads typically leaves room for other cars to pass.
55 SW Ash Street, Portland, OR 97204