Fallen officer added to Living Flame Memorial

Nev­er for­got­ten: Re­l­at­ives pay trib­ute to De­tect­ive Ger­ard W. Traynor, who died on June 21, 1987, from a job-re­lated heart at­tack. His name was ad­ded to the Liv­ing Flame Me­mori­al dur­ing a ce­re­mony on May 6. PHOTO COUR­TESY OF TONY WEBB / OF­FICE OF THE CITY REP­RES­ENT­AT­IVE

Phil­adelphia’s po­lice and fire de­part­ments did not have to suf­fer through the tragedy of a new line-of-duty death dur­ing the 12-month peri­od between May 2013 and April of this year.

Yet, they ad­ded a new name to the city’s Liv­ing Flame Me­mori­al non­ethe­less. De­tect­ive Ger­ard W. Traynor was ad­ded to the en­graved mark­ers that sur­round the monu­ment in Frank­lin Square. On May 6, top city of­fi­cials joined rank-and-file po­lice and fire­fight­ers and their loved ones in pay­ing trib­ute to Traynor along with 556 oth­ers who have lost their lives in the line of duty dur­ing the city’s re­cor­ded his­tory.

Traynor died on June 21, 1987, from a job-re­lated heart at­tack. He was 41 years old and served the po­lice de­part­ment for 16 years. His wid­ow, Lu­cille; son, Ger­ard Jr., and daugh­ter, Joann, placed flowers at the me­mori­al as did May­or Mi­chael Nut­ter, Po­lice Com­mis­sion­er Charles Ram­sey and Fire Com­mis­sion­er Lloyd Ay­ers.

“On this sol­emn oc­ca­sion, we re­mem­ber our fallen po­lice of­ficers and fire­fight­ers who self­lessly gave their lives serving and pro­tect­ing the cit­izens of our city,” Nut­ter said. “It is with en­dur­ing grat­it­ude that we will nev­er for­get their sac­ri­fices. We of­fer our deep­est sym­pathy to all of the fam­il­ies who have lost their loved ones — a wife, hus­band, son, daugh­ter, fath­er or moth­er — in the line of duty. The City of Phil­adelphia is forever in their debt.”

The most re­cent line-of-duty death in either de­part­ment oc­curred on April 6, 2013, when fire Capt. Mike Good­win, a Park­wood res­id­ent, per­ished in a blaze at a South Phil­adelphia fab­ric store. His name was ad­ded to the me­mori­al last May.

Traynor was as­signed to the North­w­est De­tect­ive Di­vi­sion at the time of his death. One day be­fore his passing, he rushed to the aid of a fel­low de­tect­ive in an ef­fort to foil the es­cape of an ag­gress­ive pris­on­er. Traynor’s co-work­er was un­der at­tack when the de­tect­ive in­ter­vened. Traynor en­gaged in the vi­ol­ent con­front­a­tion and helped to sub­due the pris­on­er. Traynor sub­sequently suffered a heart at­tack.

Dur­ing last week’s ce­re­mony, vo­cal­ist Kevonna Ven­able sang The Star-Spangled Ban­ner, while the Phil­adelphia Po­lice and Fire Pipes and Drums per­formed a poignant mu­sic­al trib­ute along with the Po­lice De­part­ment Hon­or Guard and the Po­lice and Fire De­part­ment Bu­glers. Trained white doves were re­leased at the con­clu­sion to sym­bol­ic­ally hon­or the fallen of­ficers’ and fire­fight­ers’ ul­ti­mate sac­ri­fice.

The Liv­ing Flame Me­mori­al Ser­vice co­in­cided with Na­tion­al Po­lice Week. The an­nu­al com­memor­ance began in 1962 and in­cludes a Blue Mass at Holy Fam­ily Uni­versity, as well as ce­re­mon­ies at the na­tion­al me­mori­al in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. ••

You can reach at wkenny@bsmphilly.com.

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