Someone left a child's fire helmet on top of the bronze one on the Vendome Fire Memorial on Commonwealth Avenue at Dartmouth Street. The sculpture honors the nine firemen who died in the 1972 fire at the Hotel Vendome, which is the white stone building you can see in the background. The memorial gives the names of the men, a timeline of the tragedy, quotes from firefighters about their work, and a bronze coat and helmet.
I often see bouquets and wreaths left at the memorial but this is the first child's helmet I remember. In Boston, firefighting is often a family vocation, shared by fathers and sons. So it's natural to wonder if a grandchild or great-grandchild of one of the nine — or perhaps a child of one of the two firefighters we lost during the Beacon Street fire a few months ago — is planning to follow in his footsteps.