WORCESTER, Mass. — It's been nearly 20 years, but the pain is still all too real for firefighters in Worcester and across the country.
On the anniversary of the devastating cold storage fire that claimed the lives of six brave men, people from all across the region come together to pay their respects.
This year, however, something special is in the works to further honor the lives of those killed in the line of duty.
A museum is set to open in Worcester which will not only tell the story of the fire but also showcase the outpouring of support - the cards, mementos, kind words and love - from around the state and the country that helped the community heal.
"[It] would give the community a place to revisit or learn about the events of Dec. 3, 1999 and the weeks that followed," said Worcester District Fire Chief Gary Fleischer.
The museum will be housed inside the city's train station until a permanent location eventually opens.
Even though its been nearly two decades, many say they are still haunted by what happened on Dec. 3, 1999.
"Obviously the pain will never go away," said Worcester Fire Chief Michael LaVoie. "We have a job to do, get up and go to work the next day."
Along with the museum, the Worcester Red Sox are also permanently retiring the number 6 jersey to honor the Worcester six.
The team will also provide eight seats for friends and families of the fallen firefighters at each game - to include the families of two more firefighters who lost their lives on the line of duty since 1999.
Jon Davies died fighting a fire on Dec. 8, 2011.
Christopher Roy died battling a vicious blaze on Dec. 9, 2018.
While this all brings back feelings that are tough to deal with, Chief LaVoie says it has to be done so we never forget.
The pop-up exhibit at the train station will open on Nov. 30 through Dec. 4.
More than 1,000 people, including firefighters from across the country, plan on coming to Worcester on Dec. 3 for a memorial on the 20th anniversary of the fire.
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