General Question

answerjill's avatar

Significance of firefighters carrying hats in parade?

Asked by answerjill (5693 points ) September 11th, 2011

I was downtown today and stumbled upon a parade of firefighters. Most of them were wearing dress uniforms, including dress hats. Some of them, however, were also holding the hard hats that they wear when they fight fires. Do you think that they are carrying their own hats—or, are they maybe carrying the hats of their fallen brothers and sisters?

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11 Answers

dreamwolf's avatar

Don’t know what town you’re in. But I’m sure the source can be traced back to your local news paper website.

JLeslie's avatar

Maybe it was the hat they wore during 9/11? Just guessing.

gailcalled's avatar

There is a display somewhere (in the downtown NYC area) of the hard hats worn by the firefighters who were killed on 9/11.

JLeslie's avatar

@gailcalled Not sure if you are addressing me? I meant they are holding the hats they wore themselves on that day. There were firefighters who were at the scene who survived of course,

gailcalled's avatar

@JLeslie; I understood what you were saying; the hard hats seem to have a very powerful symbolic meaning, both for the survivors and the victims.

JLeslie's avatar

Oh, I see.

answerjill's avatar

More info – the parade was in downtown Boston. While it was held on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, it was a parade for Massachusetts firefighters—and I am not sure how many of them would have been directly involved in the events of that tragic day.

JLeslie's avatar

Oh. I was thinking NYC firefighters.

answerjill's avatar

Ok, I took @dreamwolf ‘s advice and did some snooping around online and here is what I found: http://www.mafirememorial.org/index.html
The parade was memorializing 9/11 firefighters who lost their lives, but the helmets they carried were their own.

john65pennington's avatar

Have you ever seen the black tape that police officers wear on their badges, when an officer has died in action?

The same principle applies here, only their helmets are used.

And, they have to be ready for the next fire alarm, even in a parade.

JLeslie's avatar

@john65pennington The next fire alarm? They would need to put on their coat, boots, oxygen, the hat is only a small part of the firefighting uniform.

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