MUSCATINE, Iowa – Every October, a grateful Nation honors its fallen fire service heroes at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Park, located on the campus of the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland. The National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend is the official national tribute to those firefighters who died in the line of duty during the previous year.
Nearly everyone knows a firefighter. They are members of our family, they are our friends, and they are our co-workers. They respond to a stranger’s call for help without hesitation, and serve with pride and compassion. They are our local heroes and when a firefighter dies in the line of duty, an entire community grieves.
This year’s Memorial Weekend at the National Fire Academy was scheduled for October 3-4, 2020, but due to the global pandemic, the ceremony will be a virtual service on Sunday, October 4, 2020.
“In these unprecedented times, we want to ensure the safety of families, the fire service, program participants and the public,” Donna Clark of the National Fire Academy said. “The Foundation worked closely with our local, state, national, and federal partners to make the decision that we will still honor and remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. On Sunday, October 4, the lives of 82 firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2019 and 21 firefighters who died in previous years will be remembered during America’s Tribute to Fallen Firefighters online at 10:00 am (EDT).”
A Candlelight Service is normally held for the families on Saturday evening. While the Candlelight Service is not possible this year, the Academy is asking landmarks and fire departments across the country participate in “Light the Night for Fallen Firefighters.”
“Lighting your fire department in red on the evening of October 3, or any time during that week, would be a symbol of support and comfort to the families whose loved ones are being remembered,” Clark said.
This nationwide lighting event honors those firefighters who died in the line of duty and lets the families know that we will always remember. Last year, some of the most iconic buildings and bridges, as well as over 150 fire departments participated in honoring our fallen. They included: One World Trade Center in New York City, the Willis Tower in Chicago, and the LAX Pylons in Los Angeles. We hope that you will join this extraordinary display of recognition, especially during these trying times.
You can be a beacon of hope to Fire Hero Families and firefighters nationwide by joining us for Light the Night for Fallen Firefighters. The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation wants to recognize your participation on our website and social media and those choosing to participate and post photos are asked to use the hashtag #nffflightthenght2020.
Visit https://www.firehero.org/events/memorial-weekend/about/light-night-fallen-firefighters/department-support/ to sign up and learn more about America’s Tribute to Fallen Firefighters. Please encourage your communities and city buildings to participate and sign up as well. If you have any questions or would like more information about the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, please contact Donna Clark at [email protected] and thank you for your consideration.