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Hopkinton, Bedford firefighter names added to memorial
Hopkinton Fire Chief Richard Schaefer and Bedford Lt. James Clark both died in the past year of fire service-related heart attacks.
"Public safety is the most important task of any government; our people, our families and our economy cannot thrive without safe communities," the governor said. "The New Hampshire Fallen Firefighters Memorial reminds us of how much we owe those who bravely rush into dangerous situations and serves as an everlasting symbol of our deep appreciation of their sacrifice and their service."
State Fire Marshal William Degnan promised that Schaefer and Clark, like the 74 New Hampshire names already inscribed, will not be forgotten.
"May we be reminded that the line between selfless service and paying ultimate sacrifice is both fine and uncertain," Claggett said.
A 32-year veteran of the department, Shaefer enlisted as a volunteer call firefighter and rose through the ranks. His daughter eventually joined him in the department.
Much of his off-duty time was spent painting watercolors and writing poetry.
"Many of us did not know that side of him," Barthelmes said. "His personality and dedication to public service are reflected in the beauty of his artwork and poetic writings."
"They count on you, they count on that," Clark wrote. "How could he know it would end this way ... They died like heroes later that year, with those words still echoing in their ears."
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