VIRTUAL TRIBUTE – FALLEN HEROES DAY – LIVE-STREAMED ON FRIDAY, MAY 7TH, 1:00 PM
The 36th annual Fallen Heroes Day observance will take on a new form again this year as Maryland continues to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. The ceremony will be live-streamed for all to view from the safety and comfort of their own homes. In order to keep everyone safe, only the families of the current honorees will be present that day. Knowing that we could not properly socially distance our usual attendance of 1500 guests, and that many people would not feel comfortable in a crowd that size, a live-streamed ceremony seemed the best way to proceed. This was a very difficult decision to make, and we are trying the best we can. We hope you understand and will join us virtually at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, May 7th at www.facebook.com/dulaneyvalleymemorialgardens
The following fallen heroes lost within the past two years will be honored at the 2021 ceremony:
Police Officer III Kyle D. Olinger of the Montgomery County Police Department, Maryland, who died on April 18, 2019. Officer Olinger succumbed to complications of a gunshot wound sustained on August 13, 2003, while making a traffic stop in Silver Spring, MD. As a result of that shooting, Officer Olinger remained paralyzed below the chest until his passing this past April. Kyle Olinger served with distinction, serving two years with the Montgomery County Police Department and six years with the Reading Police Department.
Firefighter Michael “Mike” R. Powers of the Libertytown Volunteer Fire Department in Frederick County, Maryland, who died on June 25, 2019. While responding to the scene of a fatal vehicle accident involving a tanker truck and car, Firefighter Powers suffered a medical emergency as he was clearing away wreckage from the Route 26 accident. The veteran volunteer firefighter’s distinguished fire service career spanned more than 50 years.
Assistant Engineer Otis L. Isaacs, Jr. of the North East Fire Company who died on December 29, 2019. The volunteer firefighter, who was past chief engineer, president and chief of the fire company, suffered a cardiac arrest following a shift working on a fire department vehicle and working standby for two responses. Firefighter Isaacs joined the North East Fire Co. in 1964 and was one of several members of his family to be part of the department. He was inducted into the Harford-Cecil Hall of Fame in 2003.
Emergency Medical Technician Jeffrey “Jeff” L. Schaffer of the Taneytown Volunteer Fire Company in Carroll County, who died on August 10, 2020. EMT Schaffer, who was working on the front lines as the pandemic surged through Maryland, succumbed to Covid-19. An expert in the emergency medical field, he exemplified the term first responder and was named Carroll County’s EMS Provider of the Year in 1999 by the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems. Throughout his 48-year career, EMT Schaffer worked at several local fire departments including: Lineboro, Pleasant Valley (where he was a life-time member), Westminster, Pikesville and Littlestown, and was highly respected by each fire company.
Corporal Christine L. Peters of the Greenbelt Police Department in Prince George’s County, Maryland, who died on January 14, 2021. The corporal succumbed to injuries sustained 12 days earlier when she was struck by a vehicle while assisting officers from the United States Park Police at the scene of a crash. Corporal Peters was an exceptional officer who served with the Greenbelt Police Department for 22 years and had previously served with the University of Maryland Police Department for 5 years.
In addition, each year the ceremony honors one firefighter and one police officer who died in the line of duty before Fallen Heroes Day was established. These two first responders will be honored at this year’s ceremony:
Firefighter Alexander C. Johnson of Rescue Hose Company No. 1, Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, who died on July 13, 1958. While fighting a warehouse fire on Shaw Street in Annapolis, Firefighter Johnson collapsed and later died at the hospital as a result of heart failure. A WWII veteran, his dedication to the fire service spanned more than 10 years, working both as a volunteer with the City of Annapolis Hose Company and as a full-time firefighter at the Naval Academy.
Police Officer Milton I. Spell of the Baltimore City Police Department, who died on August 15, 1974. Officer Spell, who was on foot patrol, was shot and killed after stopping a suspected drunk driver. The driver had stolen the car and waited for Officer Spell to approach him, at which point he shot the officer striking him in the chest and abdomen. Milton Spell was a veteran, having served three tours in Vietnam with the Special Forces of the U.S. Army. He served proudly with the Baltimore City Police Department for seven years.
View a list of all fallen heroes honored since the ceremony began 36 years ago by clicking here or at www.facebook.com/HonoringFallenHeroesDulaneyValley.
Visit our Fallen Heroes Day section to learn more about the history of the event and view images.