City Hall Blog (archived)

Restoring the Gamewell Diaphone sounding tradition at Fire Station 1

Update: July 11, 2014 - the following action was taken by the Concord City Council on July 10, 2014.

Effective July 10, 2014, the daily noon sounding of the fire horn at Fire Station One will be discontinued.  The previous Council actions concerning the sounding of this fire horn are rescinded and replaced by this new schedule:
 
The City of Concord will briefly in a 3 or 4 second blast, sound the restored historic Gamewell Diaphone at Fire Station One to recognize the annual events listed below.
  • Memorial Day (last Monday in May) – One blast at noon to honor those who gave their lives in service to our country.
  • Independence Day (July 4) – One blast at noon to commemorate the birth of our nation.
  • Patriots Day (September 11) – One blast at 8:46 a.m. to honor those who lost their lives in the World Trade Center towers, the crash into the Pentagon, and the crash of Flight 93 in Pennsylvania (8:46 is the time of the initial crash into the World Trade Center).
  • Veterans Day (November 11) – One blast at 11:00 a.m. to honor all US veterans.
  • Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day (December 7) – One blast at 1:00 p.m., the approximate local time in Concord of the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
  • Concord Christmas Parade (Saturday before Thanksgiving) – one blast to signify the parade is leaving the starting point.
It is understood that any emergency responses by fire personnel will override the sounding of the horn.  Any sounding of the horn other than above will not take place without prior City Council approval.
 
Several days before each annual date above, the City of Concord will issue a media release educating citizens about the significance of the upcoming event and highlighting the scheduled time of the sounding.

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As mentioned in the City Hall Blog post on January 4, the Concord City Council directed staff at their December meeting to restore the 1935 Gamewell Diaphone at Fire Station 1 and gauge public opinion on once again sounding it daily at noon (except Sunday). Feedback from the public following a test period indicated considerable support for restoring the tradition, with 66.5 percent of telephone survey respondents indicating support for sounding the horn daily at noon from Monday through Saturday.  100 percent of those who responded on a web-survey indicated support for sounding the horn daily.
 
At last night’s City Council meeting, Mayor Pro-Tem Al Brown stated that the City Council wishes to establish a limited public forum for the purpose of honoring the fallen in this Country’s wars, declared or undeclared, to promote the unity of these United States and to preserve the sacrifices of those women and men who strove to preserve the freedoms we hold in common as a Nation.
 
Mayor Pro-Tem Brown then moved, and Council Member Jim Ramseur seconded, that effective Friday January 14, 2011, the City of Concord will resume the daily tradition of briefly sounding the restored Gamewell Diaphone at Fire Station 1 exactly at 12:00 noon on Mondays through Saturdays.
 
Beginning May 30, 2011 the City of Concord will begin annually (1) recognizing the founding of our country, (2) remembering attacks on our country, and (3) honoring the military service of those who have defended our country, by sounding the restored Gamewell Diaphone at Fire Station 1 on these five specific days in the following manner:

  • Memorial Day (last Monday in May) – twenty one short blasts at 12:00 noon
  • Independence Day (July 4) – four short blasts at 12:00 noon
  • Patriot Day (September 11) – one blast at the exact time each of the two World Trade Center towers fell (9:59 a.m. and 10:28 a.m.)
  • Veterans Day (November 11) – eleven short blasts at 11:00 a.m.
  • Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day (December 7) – seven short blasts at 1:00 p.m.