PROCTORVILLE , OH
The Origin of the
a courageous band of crusaders known as the Knights of St. John, fought
the Saracens for possession of
the holy land, they encountered a new weapon
unknown to European warriors.
It was a simple, but a horrible device of war, it
wrought excruciating pain and agonizing death upon the brave fighters for
The Saracen's weapon was, fire.
As the crusaders advanced on the
walls of the city, they were struck by glass bombs
containing naphtha. When they became
saturated with the highly flammable liquid,
the Saracens hurled a flaming torch
into the midst. Hundreds of the knights were burned
alive; others risked their lives
to save their brothers-in-arms from painful firey deaths.
Thus, these men became our first
firemen and the first of a long list of courageous firefighters.
Their heroic efforts were recognized
by fellow crusaders who awarded each here a badge of
honor- a cross simular to the one
firemen wear today. Since the Knights of St. John lived
for close to four centuries on
a little island in the Mediterranean Sea named Malta, the cross
came to be known as the Maltese
Cross is your symbol of protection. It means
that the fireman who wears
this cross is willing to lay down
his life for you just as the crusaders sacrificed their lives
for their fellow man so many years
ago. The Maltese Cross
is a fireman's badge of
honor, signifying that he works
in courage - a ladder rung away from death.
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