Police & Fire Patch Collection
At 7:30 pm on Wednesday, September 25, 2002 Eddie Doyle and Cheers Beacon Hill unveiled a plaque commemorating the colorful display of patches collected through the years from the brave men and women of the Police, Fire, and Service branches. The public was welcome at this event and many police officers and members of local services were present. Eddie was pleased that this event was a success.
Patch Project Background
A number of years ago, a couple of guys walked into our pub and sat at the bar. After batting the breeze with them for a while they told us they were from the Coast Guard. They seemed like a couple of nice fellas from farm country, you know, one of the square states. As they were getting ready to leave, they told us "Cheers" was the greatest thing since sliced bread and their brief visit to our little pub brought the whole story to life. One of the guys took a Uniform Patch from his pocket and asked if we could hang it up somewhere behind our bar. "It's our unit's patch and we helped design it." I grabbed the stapler and attached it to one of the liquor cabinets. You should have seen the looks on their faces...thrilled! We voiced our approval, laughing and clapping as we read the bright nylon thread printing on this rather large piece of cloth. "Elvis, if you're out there, we'll find you" was across the top. A drawing of Elvis was in the center and underneath him read "United States Coast Guard." If only those two guys realized what they had started. Simply put...a snowball.
Week after week, day after day, men and women would bring in their Police, Fire or Service patch and add to the growing collection. A year or so after we put Elvis up, we were running out of space. The only areas not being used were the oak beams that crossed the ceiling. Not any more! We made a proper display for all the patches
we had set aside and covered them with plexi-glass. Guess what...we've got more patches, metal crests and a policeman's hat from Europe. Some of these are mailed in along with a kind note, which we appreciate.
Occasionally there is a story behind a few of the patches. A husband and wife, both police officers, gave us a patch in memory of one of their partners who was killed in the line of duty. There's a patch from the Worcester Fire Dept. and a photograph of the 6 Firemen who tragically lost their lives in a terrible warehouse fire in Worcester, less than 50 miles from Boston. Representatives from Fire Departments across our Nation and Canada attended their funerals.
One day, five New York Policemen came in for lunch. They had just apprehended a person wanted for a murder back in the Big Apple. The Boston Police played a crucial role in this arrest. We were presented an NYPD Homicide Patch and a special lapel pin for each of our staff. They informed us that their unit was being portrayed in the popular TV show, "NYPD Blue." They were top-shelf guys, but I still hate the Yankees.
Every shift I have on the bar, I look at the NYPD Patch and wonder if all those guys made it past 9/11 unharmed. It's fun for all the visitors to our Pub to pick out a patch from their home-town, however, there is a new sense of awareness as each of us look them over. There is a re-born sense of pride and respect we have for all the men and women who wear that colorful patch on the shoulder of their uniform. All of us who work at "Cheers" feel honored that people think enough of us to bring in or send a patch for our collection. On behalf of all of us here in Boston, Thank You and be safe.
"To Serve and Protect with Honor and Dignity"
If you would like your patch displayed at "Cheers," please send it to the following address:
The Bull & Finch Pub/Cheers
84 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02108