On the one week anniversary of the Newtown school shooting, vigils and various acts of remembrance for the victims will take place, such as the ringing of church bells, in communities around the nation.
Commack Fire Department has chosen to take part in the national commemoration with other local fire departments to sound their siren 26 time on Friday.
"Yes, we will be sounding our sirens tomorrow morning at 9 :45 a.m.. We will do it 26 times, once for each victim," said Commack Fire Commissioner Patrick Fazio.
The Suffolk County Department of Fire Rescue and Emergency Services sent out a memo to all county fire departments on Thursday noting that they could, if they chose to, sound their alarms 26 times on Friday morning at 9:45 in honor of the 26 victims of the Sandy Hook tragedy and as a way to honor fellow firefighters and EMS personnel.
Joe Williams, the commissioner of Suffolk FRES, said his department is not advocating for the commemoration, but that the memo was sent out on behalf of fire departments that said they wanted to do it. "We're not telling them to do it. We have no authority to tell them do it," Williams said.
"Naturally everybody is concerned," he said that people won't know what the sirens are for exactly. He hoped the departments will spread the word. "I know for a fact that not every department is participating."
Some fire departments, including East Hampton and Sag Harbor, have already opted out of the commemoration, fearing that 26 sirens may cause local residents to panic and call 911. Firefighters say many residents are on edge after the violent attacks and Friday marks the day the Mayans predicted the world would end.
"It’s a genuine concern when you stop to think about it. Many times people don’t hear or pay attention to the sirens, but will they'll probably notice 26 times in a row," Fazio said.
The fire commissioner was returning home Friday after a brief trip up to Newtown to show his support and comfort the firefighters and first responders who came face-to-face with the tragedy.
"We will get through tomorrow but there are 26 families not so far away, that feel the end of their world feels is already here," Fazio said.
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