Salisbury honors the lives of two fallen firefighters

Published 12:04 am Wednesday, March 8, 2023

SALISBURY — Remembering those who are no longer with us is one of the best ways to help preserve their legacy.

On March 7, 2008, Salisbury firefighters Justin Monroe and Victor Isler lost their lives fighting a five-alarm commercial structure fire. On Tuesday, the city held its annual memorial for the two men at Salisbury Fire Station 5 next to Chestnut Hill Cemetery.

Salisbury Deputy Chief David Morris, who personally knew both men, spoke to the crowd and shared his thoughts on what their loss and the ceremony means to him as a firefighter.

“It’s important that we remember them constantly. While March 7 is a date that we lost them, it’s not the only date that we remember them. They are forever in our memory,” Morris said.

In the 15 years since their deaths, Morris says the department has done everything possible to uphold the safety standards, ranking as the highest priority to ensure the well-being of their firefighters.

“I think we all continue to evolve and strive to get better each and every day. We learn from every incident that we go on. We continue to learn and be students of the fire service,” Morris said.

Salisbury Mayor Karen Alexander and Mayor Pro Tem Tamara Sheffield were both in attendance and helped the department as they lowered the American flag to half staff and placed wreaths in memory of both men. A call was then made to all the other departments, which lowered flags to half mast as the same time. Alexander does not take the responsibility of honoring those who have died for granted.

“It’s a privilege because they have given the ultimate sacrifice, their lives, in service of our community in a really tragic event for our city. We honor not just the family, but also the community and their memories of those men,” Alexander said. “A lot of the time we’re all so busy that if don’t stop and reflect we forget.”

Personally, Morris is grateful for all that Salisbury has done for Monroe and Isler. For him, it is comforting to know that the city goes above and beyond to pay their respects not just to them, but the entire fire department.

“It’s very reassuring to us as a department when the community continues to remember the work that you do and the sacrifices that you make,” Morris said.