Small New Jersey Town Remembers Its Heroes During the Holidays

On the evening of November 29, Wallington (NJ) volunteer firefighters held their 13th annual holiday parade, which has grown larger and larger every year.

There was a somber note for this years festivities. During 2014, Wallington Fire Captain Greg Barnas, 57,lost his life while battling a restaurant fire in February. Barnas, an ex-chief in Wallington, was also a career fire captain in Jersey City assigned to Ladder Co. 6 in the bustling downtown section. Then, several months later, his son John, 23, an engineer with Wallington Engine Co. 2, died from pneumonia after his body’s immune system was weakened by Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Wallington apparatus lined up at the beginning of the parade bearing tributes to their fallen heroes. This included photos of the men on banners on the side of rigs, and large replicas of helmet front pieces with their names and ranks of the front of their units.

More than 200 pieces of emergency equipment participated in the parade, where lights and Christmas decorations adorn all of the vehicles that participate.

Committee members believe there were about 90 different fire departments and EMS units represented that rode through this mile-square town in densely populated Bergen County.

Mrs. Patty Barnas climbed aboard an engine with her relatives to participate and remember.

The parade was a big hit with children getting into the holiday spirit. A larger amount of residents and visitors lined up for the parade route than normal. This could have been because of a combination of chilly but not-so-cold weather, and the chance to remember the dedication, unselfishness, and sacrifice of Wallington’s two special sons.

See more photos HERE.

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