Price’s memorial walks admirable

Published 8:52 pm Monday, July 30, 2018

Bill Price has become something of a social media legend in Suffolk, and it’s all for a good cause.

Price, a captain in the fire department at Naval Station Norfolk with more than three decades of firefighting experience, has been photographed walking up and down various roads in Suffolk lately. Those who don’t know him post the photo on social media with inquiries for their friends and followers. Does anybody know this guy? And does anybody know what he’s up to?

Price surely is an odd sight on his walks. He dons a firefighter’s helmet and a black-and-white American flag with one strip of red and one strip of blue, a tribute to the firefighters and law enforcement officers, respectively, who lost their lives responding to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. He also carries with him hydration equipment and wears one red glove and one blue glove.

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It’s all to honor the 412 firefighters, police officers, emergency medical technicians and paramedics who died on Sept. 11, 2001, as well as about 180 more who have died since from illnesses caused by chemical exposure at Ground Zero. The most recent of those just passed away about two weeks ago.

Price also can be found often on a StairMaster at Planet Fitness, usually dressed in full turnout gear.

What is the reason for all this? Price is dedicated to memorializing the first responders who died on and since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. And his ways of memorializing them require lots of training.

He plans to participate in a memorial climb in Roanoke on Sept. 8, where firefighters will finish the climb that the deceased firefighters didn’t get to finish.

He also plans his own memorial walk on the morning of Sept. 11 at the Virginia Beach oceanfront. He’ll walk for more than six minutes, each minute representing one of the late firefighters.

He’s also preparing for a memorial 343K walk in August 2020, where he’ll team up with others to walk from the Pentagon to New York City beginning on Aug. 23 and finishing on Sept. 11.

Nearly 17 years after that horrible day, most of us go through most of our days without even thinking of that day. In fact, an entire generation born after the attacks is about to reach adulthood having learned about that day only from history books and from those who were alive at the time.

Price’s goal of honoring and remembering the emergency responders who paid the ultimate price in an effort to save lives under the most horrific of circumstances is an admirable one. We appreciate his tenacity and urge all who encounter him to give a word of encouragement.