Fire per­son­nel to honor lo­cal po­lice ef­forts in ‘Thin Blue Flag’ cer­e­mony

The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT) - - FRONT PAGE - By Jeff Mill jmill@mid­dle­town­press.com

CROMWELL >> United in a com­mon pur­pose, one group of pro­fes­sion­als will salute an­other group Satur­day.

The Cromwell Fire Dis­trict and Fire Depart­ment is rec­og­niz­ing the Cromwell Po­lice Depart­ment in a cer­e­mony at fire head­quar­ters at 1 West St. in a cer­e­mony of “honor and ap­pre­ci­a­tion” at 11 a.m.

The cer­e­mony was or­ga­nized by mem­bers of the fire depart­ment and the fire dis­trict “in con­sid­er­a­tion of the close work­ing re­la­tion­ship they have with the po­lice depart­ment,” Fire Chief Michael R. Teren­zio ex­plained.

While it has not been the case in Cromwell, po­lice of­fi­cers in gen­eral “have re­ceived so much nega­tive pub­lic­ity re­cently,” Teren­zio said. In most cases, that nega­tiv­ity is un­de­served, the chief added.

So, mem­bers of the depart­ment and the dis­tricts will be ex­press­ing their ap­pre­ci­a­tion for their col­leagues on the po-

lice force by fly­ing the “Thin Blue Flag,” Teren­zio said.

“Cromwell is the com­mu­nity it is be­cause both agen­cies agree they are bet­ter when they sup­port one an­other,” Teren­zio said.

Satur­day was cho­sen be­cause most of the non­ca­r­eer mem­bers can be in at­ten­dance, he said.

Po­lice Chief Denise La­mon­tagne and Capt. Kevin A. Van­derSloot have both been in­vited to at­tend the cer­e­mony as well as “who­ever else that would like to be there,” Teren­zio said.

“The fact these two groups of pro­fes­sion­als rec­og­nize and sup­port each other gives us hope that we can demon­strate to the res­i­dents of Cromwell that their first line of de­fense is united,” Teren­zio said.

La­mon­tagne said she and the of­fi­cers of the CPD “ap­pre­ci­ate the honor that is be­ing be­stowed on us by the mem­bers of the Cromwell Fire Depart­ment.”

“We strive to al­ways work closely with our fel­low emer­gency re­spon­ders,” La­mon­tagne said.

There are two ver­sions of the flag: one is a black-and­white Amer­i­can flag with a hor­i­zon­tal blue line run­ning through it, the other is a black flag with the hor­i­zon­tal blue line run­ning through the cen­ter of the flag.

Cromwell is ex­pected to use the Amer­i­can flag ver­sion, fire of­fi­cials said Wed­nes­day.

In ei­ther case, “The Thin Blue Line Amer­i­can Flag serves as a tes­ta­ment to the valor of po­lice of­fi­cers across the coun­try,” as well the thin line that pro­tects so­ci­ety, ac­cord­ing to an ex­pla­na­tion on the web­site Thin Blue Line USA.

The idea of the “thin line” traces back to the Crimean War (1853-56), in which Britain, France and Turkey fought the Rus­sian Em­pire.

In 1854, the Suther­land, or 93rd High­landers, a reg­i­ment of kilted Scot­tish in­fantry, their ranks de­pleted by prior fight­ing, fought off two at­tacks by as many as 800 mounted Rus­sian cav­alry, ac­cord­ing to a re­count­ing of the bat­tle on the Mil­i­tary His­tory web­site.

As the cav­alry thun­dered down upon the two ranks of High­landers, their com­man­der, Gen. Sir Colin Camp­bell, is said to have called out, “There is no re­treat from here, men! You must die where you stand.”

“The re­sponse from a ju­nior of­fi­cer was im­me­di­ate and equally as­sertive: ‘Aye, aye, Sir Colin, an needs be, we’ll do that,’” ac­cord­ing to a his­tory of the bat­tle in Mil­i­tary His­tory Monthly.

The ac­tion was ac­claimed through­out Britain, and in 1881 was im­mor­tal­ized in a heroic paint­ing by Robert Gibb ti­tled “The Thin Red Line.”

In 1890, Rud­yard Ki­pling paid trib­ute to the thin red line in his poem “Tommy.”

Since then, the term has come to stand for a small band of de­ter­mined in­di­vid­u­als stand­ing stal­wart against over­whelm­ing odds.


Cromwell Fire Chief Michael Teren­zio has ar­ranged for a Thin Blue Line Flag cer­e­mony on Satur­day, which will honor ef­forts of lo­cal po­lice.


Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.