Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts (PFFM) affiliates will be flying the thin blue line American flag in solidarity with their police counterparts to honor fallen Weymouth, Massachusetts Sergeant Michael Chesna.
Chesna was shot and killed in the line of duty on July 15, 2018. For the one-year anniversary of his death, fire fighters in the nearby town of Hingham flew the thin blue line American flag on their apparatus. The Local 2398 members planned to do the same this year, but town officials asked them to remove it over concern about how the flag would be perceived in the current political climate.
The PFFM decided to assist the Weymouth police union, Weymouth Local 1616, Hingham Local 2398 and any other PFFM affiliate who wanted to honor Chesna’s memory this year.
Through the state association, the thin blue line flag will be delivered to participating affiliates to fly on their apparatus in the coming days.
“Although I am disappointed that Hingham town leaders decided not to allow the flag to be flown here, I am proud of the Massachusetts IAFF locals that have decided to fly the flag in Chesea’s honor,” says 3rd District Vice President Jay Colbert. “We stand with all of our public safety brothers and sisters.”
“The fire departments in the towns and municipalities surrounding Weymouth often respond to emergencies together as part of mutual aid agreements, so they are close like family,” says PFFM President Richard MacKinnon. “Fire fighters always take care to honor their fallen and we want make sure our police counterparts have the opportunity to do the same.”
Once the flag has been flown by all participating Massachusetts locals, the PFFM and Weymouth Local 1616 will present the flag to the Chesna family.