The Alexandria Fire Department held its annual Memorial Service and Wreath Laying ceremony at Ivy Hill Cemetery on Friday morning, Oct. 10. The annual ceremony, held each year during National Fire Prevention Week, honors those who have died in the line of duty and to mark the passing of those members of the department who died during the preceding 12 months.
Ivy Hill Cemetery opened and was dedicated in 1856. The obelisk monument in the center of the honor circle inside the main entrance is dedicated to the seven firefighters who lost their lives in an 1855 fire on King Street.
The first National Fire Prevention Week was Oct. 4-10, 1925 as proclaimed by President Calvin Coolidge. Since then it has always been observed in the week with the 9th of October. It was Oct. 9, 1871 when the Great Chicago Fire occurred, burning more than 2,000 acres in 27 hours. It destroyed 17,000 structures, left 100,000 residents homeless and killed nearly 300.