For Lou Paulson, this year’s service is especially personal. He’s President of the California Professional Firefighters – and a Contra Costa County Fire Captain. He knows five of the men being added to the wall in Capitol Park.
“When you go to a service of somebody who’s fallen in the line of duty and you’re looking at that wife or husband or those kids and you’re looking at yourself, because ultimately at any time it could happen to you.”
Paulson’s best friend is also memorialized on the wall. The 29 being honored this year include two firefighters killed in July trying to rescue a couple from a house fire in San Pablo – and the five who died fighting the Esperanza fire in Southern California. Governor Schwarzenegger and U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer are among those who’ll attend the service. There are more than one-thousand names on the wall now – honoring firefighters who died as far back as 1850. This is the fifth annual memorial service.