Bavaria’s minister of the interior joachim herrmann awarded the new gross badge of honor for 50 years of active service in the fire department and other aid organizations to 29 volunteer firefighters for the first time. Including dieter baier from the falkendorf fire department, a volunteer from the county.
At the ceremony, herrmann thanked the honorees for their service: "for half a century, they have been an integral part of our emergency response system, contributing their skills and experience to the community. They help their fellow human beings in need and are thus a shining example of solidarity", the minister said approvingly. As the minister of the interior explained, the "gross badge of honor" will be awarded in addition to the already existing honorary awards for 25 years (silver) and 40 years of service (gold). It is not only a state honor, but also a visible sign of great commitment to the outside world.
In his speech, the minister took us back to 1968 – the time of the prague spring, the vietnam war and the student protests. "When you consider all that has happened and changed in the last 50 years, their unwavering voluntary commitment is all the more amazing and deserves the utmost respect. They have ‘held out’ for 50 years – to the benefit of our country and its people", praised herrmann.
Especially in the case of a series of more severe catastrophes in the free state, this beneficial intervention was of enormous importance. Herrmann cited, for example, the two severe floods of 2002 and 2013, when the highest levels in 50 years were reached in the affected areas. "Even these exceptional situations did not cause them to give up."
The shared responsibility of the individual for his or her successors is one of the great strengths of the free state. "The state government knows what it has in voluntarily active burgers like you", said the interior minister.
The honorees, who had traveled to munich from all parts of bavaria, included eight firefighters, 15 members of the bavarian red cross (BRK), three members of the german life saving society (DLRG) and three members of the federal agency for technical relief (THW).