William Thompson will always be remembered for his service to fighting fires and saving lives in the Fort Worth Fire Department.
And now that is marked in stone.
Thompson is among 92 firefighters who were added to the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial during the recent annual service in Emmetsburg, Maryland. Several active and former members of the FWFD joined the Thompson family at the event to celebrate his life and service.
Thompson joined the FWFD in 1988 and served on a truck as long as he could before a respiratory illness he developed on the job forced him into another position. He continued to work as a dispatcher, and retired from FWFD 22 years later.
Thompson died in April 2014 due to that work-related illness.
The 7-foot stone monument in Maryland was constructed in 1981 and features a sculpted Maltese cross, the traditional symbol of the fire service. An engraved plaque on the monument bears a message from then President Ronald Reagan. At the base of the monument, an eternal flame symbolizes the spirit of all firefighters, past, present and future.
Plaques encircling the monument list the names of the men and women firefighters who have died in service to their communities since 1981.