Sunday of the Dead © Ekaterina Zershchikova / FBB
Sunday of the Dead © Ekaterina Zershchikova / FBB

Airport fire service celebrates Sunday of the Dead

Published: 29 November 2023, 15:30

In keeping with tradition, BER’s airport fire service celebrated Sunday of the Dead on 26 November.

According to the Protestant Church, this “silent holiday”, or Eternity Sunday, originated in the Reformation. The name ‘Totensonntag’ (Sunday of the Dead) was coined by King Frederick William III of Prussia. Following personal losses and wars with many casualties, the monarch ruled in 1816 that the dead should be commemorated on the Sunday before the first Advent. In contrast to Remembrance Day, which is specifically intended to commemorate the victims of war and violence, Sunday of the Dead serves to remember all who have died. Many people, even those without a religious denomination, use this day of silence to visit cemeteries or memorials.

In the fire service, this tradition was probably already established in the 19th century. The first volunteer and full-time fire services were established here, and as a state organisation they followed the King’s call. Up to now, the airport fire service has taken part in the memorial service at Mariannenplatz in Kreuzberg. This is where Berlin’s fire service memorial is located. This year, BER’s fire service celebrated Sunday of the Dead at the airport’s Fire Station East – a memorial stone has stood there since 2020 following an incident in which the airport fire service lost a colleague on duty.

The memorial service began with a small flower arrangement being laid at the memorial stone at around 10 am. Andreas Klupsch, head of the airport fire service, said a few words of remembrance. The firefighters then had the opportunity to get together and chat inside the fire station. No one else was invited apart from colleagues from the airport fire service.

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